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
otherwise abused in her lifetime
with one in five becoming a victim of rape or attempted rape
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
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