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IWD 2009: Role of ICTs in reducing violence against girls and women

Photo: Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General

To address the theme of the 2009 International Women’s Day, the ITU Gender Issues Group has created this website providing information as to how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) are used, and may be further improved, to reduce violence and abuse against girls and women.

Because violence against girls and women is often so deeply embedded in society, and so linked to gender inequities and power relations, it must be addressed strategically, sensitively and comprehensively.

At least one out of every three females is likely to be beaten, coerced into sex or
otherwise abused in her lifetime with one in five becoming a victim of rape or attempted ra

ICT’s can be used as a tool in reducing violence against girls and women and there are numerous positive initiatives, as can be seen from the resources available on this Webpage. ITU will take the lead in promoting its use to combat violence and abuse perpetrated against girls and women. Within the ITU community, the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) could be such an instrument and the Child Online Protection (COP) initiative will also aim at identifying risks and vulnerabilities of girls. The concept of the harmonized global child helpline number (116 111), recently approved by ITU for suggestion to members, could provide a basis for steps to facilitate the establishment of call centers whose aim would be to help reduce violence against girls and women.

ICT’s therefore not only play an important role in informing and helping girls and women against cyberbullying and cyberviolence and facilitating access to assistance for victims and potential victims of violence; but its proper and safe use allows the empowerment of women and girls and will ultimately reduce violence against them.

Ending violence against girls and women must become, and remain, a top priority for all!

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré
ITU Secretary-General


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Updated : 2009-04-03