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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 Monday, 08, the participants of the webinar in celebration of International Women’s Day. Conducted by the associations ABAPI (Brazilian Association of Industrial Property Agents), ABAPI (Brazilian Association of Industrial Property Agents), ASIPI (Interamerican Association of Intellectual Property) and ASPI (Paulista Association of Intellectual Property), the debate was mediated by the coordinator of the Diversity Committee of ABPI, Renata Shaw and brought together Andréa Possinhas, Vice President of ABAPI, Neide Bueno, Cultural Director of ASPI, Erika Diniz, Executive Director of ABPI, Elisabeth Siemsen do Amaral, President of ASIPI, and Kone Cesário , deputy director of the National Faculty of Law (FND) at UFRJ. The participants of the debate told about their professional trajectories, in which the difficulties faced in the corporate world, male par excellence, are notorious. Experiences have shown that the difficulties were mainly cultural. Andréa Possinhas, from ABAPI, highlighted the problem of pregnancy as an obstacle to women’s professional advancement. “Pregnancy in the corporate world is still an issue,” he said. Renata Shaw, from ABPI, cited a survey reporting that 40% of working women lose their jobs two months after having their children.

Women’s struggle for professional recognition is not directly against men in the workplace, who in many cases are even allies. The problem is structural. Neide Bueno, in addition to being a woman and a black woman, followed an upward professional trajectory. She gives the recipe for female success in the business world: “Women must know how to impose themselves whenever necessary,” she says. For many women this imposition is not easy. “Man is the basis of the structure of patriarchal society”, points out Erika Diniz, from ABPI. For her, the issue of equal rights for women is a priority issue for the advancement of society. “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, from ASIPI, the majority of Latin American offices are made up of men only, and in these, only 11% of executives are women, a percentage that is even lower when climbing the ladder of the 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”, says 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 developed Maria da Penha Virtual, an application that can be accessed from any electronic device. Through it, the victim of domestic violence can virtually request emergency protective measures, without having to travel during the pandemic. “Violence against women is part of a process in which, many times, she does not realize it”, explains Kone Cesário, from FND. “There is psychological, patrimonial, incarceration and many other forms of violence,” he concluded.