ITU names Geena Davis ‘Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT’
Academy Award Winning Actor and advocate will
highlight the role technology can play in female empowerment
Geneva, 12 June 2012 – Academy Award Winning Actor and
advocate Geena Davis is to become ITU’s Special Envoy for Women and Girls in the
field of technology, in the first major announcement linked to a new ITU
campaign highlighting the empowering role technology can play in the lives of
women and girls.
The new partnership follows the naming of Ms Davis as a laureate at this
World Telecommunication and Information Society Awards, which were held at
ITU headquarters in Geneva on May 16.
One of Ms Davis’s first activities in her new role as special envoy will be
to promote ITU’s new ‘Tech Needs Girls’ campaign throughout the course of 2012,
through public appearances at high-profile events held by ITU and others. Ms
Davis will speak on the importance of further extending access to technology to
women worldwide, will reinforce the importance of positive gender role models,
and will highlight the many exciting career opportunities available to young
women in the high-tech sector.
“I’m thrilled with this new position because ITU is an incredible
organization that wields a lot of clout globally,” said Ms Davis. “This role
will enable me to take the work I’m doing to a much bigger scale globally,
through developing and consulting on strategies to advance gender equality and
the empowerment of girls and women in ICTs. It’s incredibly important to get
more women and girls connected to technology, and a big factor in making this
happen is going to be ITU’s work.”
The three-year campaign will raise awareness worldwide of the role
information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play in empowering women.
Via high-profile ambassadors like Ms Davis and an extensive programme of online
multimedia content, major advocacy events around the globe and key partnerships
with industry, government, civil society and other UN agencies, the campaign
highlights the potential of technology to transform women’s lives, whether it be
through ICT-based career choices or by improved access to services like
e-health, e-education, e-commerce, e-banking and a host of new applications and
devices that can help girls and women address their day-to-day challenges.
“I am delighted that Ms Davis will be joining us in our campaign to help
expand the opportunities open to women and girls, and redress the current gender
imbalance in the ICT industry,” said Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU
Secretary-General. “The support of committed, high-profile ambassadors like Ms
Davis will greatly increase the impact and reach of our message about ICTs and
Earlier this year, ITU launched a new multilingual
web portal focused on helping girls and
women access training, job opportunities and career information in the
fast-growing information and communication (ICT) sector.
The Girls in ICT Portal houses over 400 programmes, including over 100
scholarship programmes and an equal number of contests and awards, some 60
training and internship opportunities, over 100 online networks offering career
support and mentoring, as well as tech camps and other activities.
The portal also showcases photos, videos and best practice from ‘Girls in ICT
Day’ events, which are held around the world on the fourth Thursday in April
every year, following a decision taken at ITU’s 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference
in Guadalajara, Mexico. In 2012, over 1,320 Girls in ICT Day events were held in
nearly 90 countries around the world, providing an estimated 30,000 young women
with a better understanding of ICT opportunities.
A video of Ms Davis talking about her work in the field of gender
empowerment, and her new role as ITU Special Envoy, can be viewed at:
Photos of Ms Davis and Dr Touré at the WTISD awards ceremony can be
For more information, please contact:
||At the Geena Davis Institute on
Gender in Media:
Chief, Media Relations
and Public Information
Madeline di Nonno