Concerns expressed on challenges to gender equality

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 13 (IANS) Women activists and academicians have expressed concern at an ongoing international conference here on the growing vulnerabilities of women across the world.

Kerala Governor and former Supreme Court chief justice P. Sathasivam, while inaugurating the International Conference on Gender Equality-1 (ICGE-1) on Thursday, said the status of women in India was a cause of concern and that there must be awareness about the existence of laws for the protection of women.

The first three-day international conference is being organised by Gender Park of Kerala government and United Nations Women.

“Very few women are aware of the laws. Legal empowerment is must and women should be made aware of it by campaigns,” Sathasivam said.

Citing the Indian constitution, he said: “The state is always free to make special provision for women and children.”

Naila Kabeer, a professor of gender empowerment at the London School of Economics, presented the research in which data and statistics revealed that gender equality does contribute to the growth of country.

A documented policy for transgenders by the Kerala government was also presented to the noted transgender social activist, Akkai Padmashali.

Padmashali, in her speech, however, said the country needs to be more receptive to the community.

“The society and law still disrespects our identity,” she said.

In the ongoing conference, hundreds of scholars, academicians and students from across the world are taking part.

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