Ghana on Thursday joined other countries around the globe to commemorate the 2018 World Intellectual Property (IP) Day on the theme: “Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity”.
An event was jointly organised by the Registrar-General’s Department and the Copyright Office, under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General in Accra.
Mrs Jemima M. Oware, the Registrar-General, said the annual event was instituted by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2000.
It was to throw more light on the impact of IP rights such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and copyright on daily life, and their role in encouraging innovation and creativity.
The Day was also to celebrate creativity and the contributions made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe.
Mrs Oware said: “This year’s World IP Day campaign celebrates the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of our women who are driving change worldwide, and shaping the common future.”
She said the theme for the celebrations was appropriate for contemporary Ghana, especially in times when young women and girls were confronted with challenges of recognition for their creative and innovative contributions to industry and society as a whole, due to the dominance of the male gender.
Mrs Oware said women had maintained their industrious roles innovating and creating exciting food recipes, textile designs and health care services over the years, and these must be properly documented to encourage others and set the standards for the younger generation to emulate.
“We envision more media publications especially on women’s creativity, to project them, create awareness for leveraging gender equality at all levels, and empower more to be role models,” she said.
She said a workshop was being held to develop a National IP Policy and Strategic Plan to protect Traditional Knowledge.
Mr Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, the Deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, acknowledged the fact that Ghana’s Constitution guaranteed equal rights, and the Government in its quest to create equal opportunities for all, had implemented policies that encouraged and supported Science, Technology and Innovation.
He said programmes such as the Planting for Food and Jobs for would need sustained creative and innovative ideas, tools and improved seeds, which would require an expanded investment in science and research, and the Government was committed to supporting them to boost productivity.
Mr Kpemka saluted all women who were leading in one way or the other in creativity, innovation and decision making, urging them to draw along other young females to balance the current gender ratio between the sexes.
Ms Christine Evans-Klock, the UNDP Resident Coordinator, said gender equality and women empowerment were among the first objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but this would only be achieved when there was full participation.
“When women and girls are encouraged and supported, they would be able to unleash their potentials and bring about change,” she said.
Ms Evans-Klock, however, stated that the current low levels of women’s participation in innovation and creativity was unacceptable, and called for more to be done to awaken their interests in the development of sustainable solutions to the numerous societal problems.
These, she said, included ensuring food security, environmental cleanliness and addressing the impact of climate change on communities.
Solidarity messages read on behalf of Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, and Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, acknowledged the tremendous increases in the contributions of women in decision making, innovative and creative ventures.
They said these reflected the Government’s policy to ensure a level playing field for gender equality and inclusiveness.
The two ministers encouraged women, especially girls, to be active in the field of science, technology and innovation to develop their entrepreneurial skills and use the IP system to add value to their inventions and traditional knowledge.
The occasion was also used to honour two female icons; Dr Nana Ama Browne Klutse, a Physicist with the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, and Mrs Diana Hopkins, a Musician with the Creative Arts Industry, who had distinguished themselves as role models in their respective fields of practice.