Education and technology in women’s law
How to reverse discrimination, professional inequality, and the situation of domestic violence against women in society? The answer is education, social pressure, and even the use of technology, pointed out, on March 8th, the participants of the webinar in celebration of International Women’s Day. Held by ABPI and the associations ABAPI (Brazilian Association of Industrial Property Agents), ASIPI (Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property), and ASPI (Paulista Association of Intellectual Property), the debate was mediated by Renata Shaw, the coordinator of ABPI’s Diversity Study Committee, and gathered Andréa Possinhas, the vice president of ABAPI, Neide Bueno, the Cultural Director of ASPI, Erika Diniz, the executive director of ABPI, Elisabeth Siemsen do Amaral, the president of ASIPI, and Kone Cesário, the vice director of the National Faculty of Law (FND) of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
The debaters recounted their professional trajectories and the difficulties they faced in the corporate world. Andréa Possinhas highlighted the problem of pregnancy as an obstacle to women’s professional advancement. “Pregnancy in the corporate world is still an issue”, she stated. A survey released by Renata Shaw during the debate showed that 40% of working women lose their jobs two months after having their children.
Neide Bueno, a black woman, followed an upward professional path. She gives the recipe for female success in the business world: “Women must know how to impose themselves whenever necessary”, she says. However, for many women, this imposition is not easy. “Man is the foundation of the structure of patriarchal society”, pointed out Erika Diniz. For her, the issue of equal rights for women is a priority issue for society’s advancement. “We have to reflect more on this topic and invest in education, especially for our children, to prevent the next generations from going through this”.
For the time being, the law is predominantly male. According to Elisabeth Siemsen do Amaral, in most Latin American offices, only 11% of executives are women, a percentage that is even lower when climbing the ladder of hierarchy. Gradually, however, women are balancing vacancies in the job market. “Some studies show that investment in diversity drives innovation and the growth of companies”, said the president of ASIPI.
Domestic violence, another item on the agenda, can now be tackled with the help of technology. Students at the Center for Law and Technology Studies at UFRJ have developed the Virtual Maria da Penha, an app in which domestic violence victims can request emergency protective measures with their cell phones. “Violence against women is part of a process in which, many times, she does not realize it”, explains Kone Cesário, from FND. “There are psychological, patrimonial, incarceration, and many other forms of violence”, she concluded.
You can watch the full debate on ABPI’s Channel on YouTube.