greenip-How IP Rights Empower Women

How IP Rights Empower Women

In many parts of the world, women are not treated equal to men under the law. From owning land to obtaining inheritance, women are at a disadvantage. Stronger intellectual property protections can help alleviate this discrepancy. When IP rights are strongly protected, the rights of women are protected as well. For example, the countries with the strongest protection of copyrights also tend to have the highest paid actresses and female artists.

April 26 is commemorated as World IP Day by WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization. This year, World IP Day’s theme “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity” will celebrate women and their role in shaping the future of society.

Elena Panaritis, author of Prosperity Unbound, founder and CEO of Thought 4 Action, explains that practice shows that women become more civically involved in the politics of their community and country, as well as and powerful market players, leaders of innovation and middle class once they are given secure ownership of their property rights. Women's involvement increases over 53% in such countries.

The protection of IP rights restores this financial incentive to create and innovate, by giving owners and content creators exclusive power over their creations. For women, this is of huge importance. Statistics have shown that countries with stronger IP rights tend to have stronger measures of gender equality. “Women in the economy are a powerful force for change and leadership. Intellectual property rights when used correctly can advance entrepreneurship by enabling women who develop innovative ideas and products to secure financing, signal their innovation, and negotiate access to the IPRs held by others. IP systems should recognize and protect creativity in all its forms, including contributions from traditional and indigenous knowledge developed by women,” said Prof. Walter G. Park, of American University and author of the Patent Index.

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