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 Saturday, April 28, 2012

Global leaders from the US, Europe, Africa and Asia joined together today to debate and define a roadmap that will help break down barriers and overturn outmoded attitudes in a bid get more girls into technology-related studies and careers.

A high-level dialogue held at New York’s Institute of International Education and hosted by the International Telecommunication Union, the UN-specialized agency for information and communication technology, identified misguided school-age career counselling, the popular media’s ‘geek’ image of the technology field, a dearth of inspirational female role models, and a lack of supportive frameworks in the home and workplace as factors that, together, tend to dissuade talented girls from pursuing a tech career.

Inspired by the tremendous dedication of NGOs, universities, government agencies, industry and others around the world in organizing Girls in ICT Day events today, participants sketched our a basic blueprint for more successful approaches to attracting school-age girls to the fast-evolving technology field, and agreed to work together to change attitudes and boost female tech enrolment rates.

In his welcoming remarks to an invited audience of over 200 gender, education and technology experts, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré said: “Over the coming decade, there are expected to be two million more ICT jobs than there are professionals to fill them. This is an extraordinary opportunity for girls and young women – in a world where there are over 70 million unemployed young people”.

ITU’s Dr Touré closed the event with a call for partners to collaborate with ITU on a three-year ‘Tech Needs Girls’ campaign focused around four ‘Es’: empowerment, equality, education and employment. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us all, working together as partners, to make a real difference”, he said.

‘Girls in ICT Day’ is a new annual event on the UN calendar, and is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday in April. It was established through a formal Resolution at ITU’s four-yearly Plenipotentiary Conference in 2010.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)
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