Increasing the Role of Women in Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Workshop with Oman, Pakistan and Uganda

June 8, 2021

On June 1 and 2, 2021, WIPO held a joint virtual Workshop on Using the Patent System by Women Inventors for Oman, Pakistan and Uganda, organized under the Development Agenda Project on Increasing the Role of Women in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Encouraging Women in Developing Countries to Use the Intellectual Property System.


The workshop had the objective of supporting women inventors and innovators from these countries broaden their awareness, knowledge and use of the patent system.

The workshop was opened by Ms. Tamara Nanayakkara, Counsellor IP for Business Division, IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector, WIPO, Ms. Sheikha Nasser Al- Akhzami, Director of Innovation and Technology Transfer Center, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, Mr. Meesaq Arif, Executive Director, IPO-Pakistan and Ms. Mercy K. Kainobwisho, Registrar General, Uganda Registration Services Bureau, who stressed the importance of addressing the issues that women inventors face and to respond to the challenges that were identified in the national assessments and interviews with women inventors from the pilot countries.

WIPO speakers gave presentations on the patent system, claim drafting, patent databases and search tools, interacting with participants through Q&A sessions and guiding participants on accessing further training materials and resources.

Group discussions highlighted some of the challenges women inventors face, such as:

  • Lack of IP awareness and resources;
  • Limited knowledge of the patent system and its importance;
  • Grants and funds unavailability;
  • Under-representation of women in STEM fields, as well as other IP-related fields, that limit exposure to role models;
  • Discrimination, bias, sexism, socio-cultural norms and expectations.

The two-day workshop ended with presentations from all three pilot countries, sharing information on the existing IP services and support for women inventors at the national level. Local speakers guided women inventors on how to access these services in their countries and benefit from them.

The workshop was successful in supporting women inventors and innovators to broaden their awareness, knowledge and use of the patent system.  The high number of registered participants (713) and the sheer volume of questions during the Q&A sessions, confirm the high interest and engagement of participants.

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