On April 28, 2023, the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi was abuzz with over 100+ women professionals from different segments, all in attendance for the Women in IP Global Networking Event 2023 hosted by LexOrbis on behalf of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). This year’s theme, “Defining & Measuring Inclusive Growth,” focused on insightful conversations around the definition of inclusive growth and its key non-monetary dimensions, diversity, equal opportunity, and the importance of owning one's voice.
Aprajita Nigam, Managing Associate at LexOrbis, welcomed attendees to the event and delivered a thought-provoking theme address. The event's first session, "Defining Inclusive Growth and Its Key Non-Monetary Dimensions," was moderated by Ms. Bithika Anand, Founder & CEO of Legal League Consulting, and featured a panel that included Ms. Manisha Shridhar, Regional Advisor at WHO- SEARO; Dr. Usha Rao, Assistant Controller of Patents & Designs; Ms. Deepa Rachel, Founder of SEEK; and Ms. Puja Tiwari, Legal Advisor at Emaar India.
The panelists had a captivating and informative discussion that delved into the essential components of inclusive growth, the role of social and environmental factors, policymakers, businesses, technology, and the primary drivers of inclusive growth. They also shared their insights on overcoming the key barriers to achieving inclusive growth, increasing women's participation, and successful examples of global inclusive growth initiatives. The speakers talked about how women can become socially conditioned and limit themselves from seeking the right opportunities, while other significant barriers such as poverty, lack of education, and basic amenities were also highlighted. Despite these barriers, Dr. Usha Rao emphasized that women professionals' participation in these sectors has been increasing, and the panelists shared practical ways to overcome these obstacles.
The role of technology in ensuring inclusive growth was also emphasized during the event, with the speakers talking about the expansion of platforms for women to seek role models and upskill themselves. Ms. Manisha Shridhar also discussed how technology empowers women to multitask, have the flexibility to work at their own hours, and ascend in their careers.
The second session, "Preserving Cultural Heritage and Intellectual Property Rights through Social Enterprises," was led by Ms. Smita Mathur, Co-Founder of Haath ka Bana.
She talked about the critical role of women artisans in promoting and preserving Indian culture and heritage through art and handicrafts. She also emphasized the importance of intellectual property such as geographical indications and trademarks in safeguarding the rights of women artisans and promoting gender equality in marginalized communities and the unorganized sector.
Moderated by Ms. Gauri Kumar, India & South Asia Consultant at INTA, the third session of the Women in IP Global Networking Event 2023 focused on the topic, "Measuring Inclusive Growth: Possibilities and Challenges." The session featured Prof. Alka Chawla, Delhi University, and Ms. Rina Sinha, Public Information and Advocacy Officer at WHO, as the keynote speakers.
The speakers explored various topics such as the relationship between inclusive growth and women's economic empowerment, challenges in measuring such growth, key indicators for measuring inclusive growth, and the intersectional experiences of marginalized women, including women with disabilities and minority ethnicities. They also discussed policy implications, engagement of the private sector in promoting inclusive growth, and the involvement of civil society organizations and women's rights groups in the process of measuring inclusive growth.
During the session, Prof. Alka Chawla emphasized the need for women to be recognized as primary workers and contributors in the organized sector. She also talked about the importance of greater participation of women in STEM areas. Ms. Rina Sinha highlighted the importance of awareness and education on equal opportunity for marginalized women, as well as the role of basic resources such as clean water and sanitation in fostering inclusive growth.
In her thank you address on behalf of AIPLA, Ms. Manisha Singh, Founder and Managing Partner at LexOrbis, stressed the need for women to break social and economic barriers and recognize their own voice to continue the global push towards inclusive growth and equal opportunity.
The event concluded successfully with an interactive one-on-one networking session among the participants. During this session, the participants shared anecdotes, thoughts, and personal experiences on the important topics of gender inclusivity and equal opportunity.