631. Panama would like to thank the United States and co-sponsors for their document and for the various experiences that have been shared today. These are excellent ideas for future programmes which could be implemented in our countries in line with the proponents. Panama considers that intellectual property is an effective tool for economic development, which enables enterprises, irrespective of their size, to give value to their developments by protecting them by brand, patent, or industrial design, or through the rights granted by copyright protection.
632. While Members have made efforts to close the gender gap in the participation of women in intellectual property and innovation, it is a fact that women continue to be underrepresented in many areas of intellectual property and innovation. In the case of Panama, the number of women innovators is higher than that of men: 70% women and 30% men. However, they do not turn to the intellectual property system for proper protection.
633. The Ministry of Trade and Industry, through the Industrial Property Registry, works on commending the work of creative women, and has developed a number of initiatives aimed at promoting women's leadership through competitions on the design and craft of traditional clothing, molas (handmade textiles) competitions, produced by indigenous peoples of Panama and Colombia, as well as training workshops on innovation with traditional designs. Programmes have also been set up to encourage the creation of works and/or productions, challenges and trends against counterfeiting, and leadership by Panamanian women in respect of copyright.
634. In addition, with the assistance of WIPO, awareness-raising and capacity-building programmes have been organized for indigenous women, who sometimes suffer from double discrimination on the basis of their gender and/or ethnicity, and who are marginalized when, in many communities, women are the main, if not only, producers of handicrafts and guardians of cultural heritage. Therefore, workshops and seminars have been held aimed at teaching indigenous women to use intellectual property tools to protect and increase the revenue-generating potential of their products.
635. To conclude, we would like to mention that Panama is also in the process of training officials from various institutions and ministries, with a view to raising awareness so that the gender perspective is reflected in the formulation of the country's public policies and that measures for the promotion of innovation and creativity, which take into account gender equality, are adopted. We are therefore working to identify the main concerns about existing inequalities and incentivize continuing policies in order to meet the gender equality goals.