2023 Women's Day statement

Computer woman
photo: chenspec, on Pixabay

This year's theme for the International Women’s Day is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.” Intellectual Property (IP) offices and organizations around the globe are coming together to support diversity within our offices and organizations and across the IP system.

In many countries, women are underrepresented in the IP system and in access to digital technologies. We aim to encourage, support and accelerate increased participation from women and other underrepresented groups in the development, commercialization, and distribution of innovations and creative works, especially through the use of digital technology.
Women’s entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity foster technological advancement, enriches culture, and contribute to economic growth. Furthermore, their contributions and participation in decision-making processes are crucial for the development of inclusive policies, spaces, and digital tools necessary to increase the awareness of women and girls of their rights and to support more robust and diverse civic engagement.

United Nations figures from a 2022 report indicate that women’s exclusion from the digital world has contributed to a $1 trillion loss in the gross domestic product of low- and  middle-income countries in the last decade. Without meaningful intervention and change, this loss in GDP is anticipated to grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025. According to the World Bank, there would be economic gains in the order of $5-6 trillion if women were supported to start and scale new businesses at the same rate as men.

In addition to yielding significant benefits for economies and communities, women’s full inclusion in technology and access to digital education and tools will accelerate creative solutions to global challenges and increase the potential for inventions and creative works that meet the needs of women and girls.

When the diversity of those engaged in innovation and creativity and using IP systems reflects the diversity of our communities, we will all benefit from a more sustainable, healthy, and balanced society.

We commit to working together to support and empower women and girls to inclusively access the innovation and creative economy to achieve their professional aspirations through the use of IP systems.

In addition, we commit to encouraging women and girls within our communities, including from any indigenous and local communities, to become familiar with, and make effective use of the intellectual property system, including as appropriate any tools for the protection of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, and genetic resources, for their own benefit and the benefit of their communities.

The world of IP is dynamic. Looking ahead, we will celebrate the theme for World Intellectual Property Day, April 26, 2023, Women and IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity, by recognizing the “can do” attitude of women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs around the world, and their ground-breaking work. We commit to using World Intellectual Property Day to advance efforts that accelerate women’s participation in the global innovation and creativity ecosystem.