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 Monday, February 18, 2013
The event, which is billed to hold in Lagos on April 25, 2013, is a brainchild of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and was borne out of the need to encourage young girls to delve into the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) profession as a means of contributing their quota to the development of the industry in their local environment and internationally.

This year’s event, with the theme: “Tech Needs Girls to Invent the Future”, has further received the support of the Minister for Communication Technology, Mrs, Omobola Johnson, who noted that her ministry is ready to work in partnership with eBusiness Life to achieve the aims of the event.

In a mail to the organizer, Mrs Johnson said, “congratulations once again and be assured that the Ministry will support this initiative”. The minister had earlier highlighted on the need to encourage young girls to aspire to co-exist with their male counterparts in the field of ICT, noting that the profession also needs the feminine gender in development.

“It is a known fact that girls are more brilliant at very young ages and evidence abound from nursery and primary schools globally to verify this claim. However, as girls reach the ages of menarche, the pressures and pains of becoming a woman slow us down a little. Early marriages and childcare also contribute to the reduction in young women’s academic achievement. Girls must therefore be exposed to ICT education very early in life. So that the culture, orientation and requisite ICT skills would have been acquired”.

She further enjoined that in order to close the digital divide between the female and male gender in terms of education in, ownership of and access to ICTs, girls must pick interest in ICT and related careers as this will not only prepare them for employment, but will also improve their capacity to compete for jobs with fabulous rewards or ability to start their own businesses and be employers from the word go.

As part of this year’s week-long event, activities will include a one-day seminar, facility tours, essay competition, open quiz sessions, mentorship forum, and awards to deserving female ICT professionals, who have made their marks in the industry.

International Girls’ Day is an initiative launched through ITU Resolution 70 with the idea of creating a global environment that will empower and encourage girls and young women to consider careers in the field of information and communication technologies.

The Union declared the fourth Thursday of April every year as a day of encouragement to girls and young women to consider careers in ICT and society is reminded to support them in their choice.
Pilot projects and campaigns have been launched in a number of countries for more than 20 years, with the aim to change girls’ and young women’s behaviour patterns with regard to their choice of career and to expand their spectrum of career options.

(Source: The Guardian Newspaper Nigeria)