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 Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Updated Resolution: Gender equality… a focus on women and girls in ICT

Gender equality and women’s empowerment can be advanced in several ways through information and communication technologies (ICT). Encouraging girls to choose a career in the field of ICT, and fostering the use of ICT for the social and economic empowerment of women and girls, are obvious examples. The growing number of women in the ICT field with decision-making could push the work of ITU in this direction.
The revised resolution encourages Member States and Sector Members to facilitate the employment of women and men equally in the ICT/telecommunication field, including at senior levels of responsibility, and to increase opportunities for women and girls in ICT careers during elementary, secondary and higher education. One way to do this would be by establishing an international “Girls in ICT” day, to be celebrated annually on every fourth Thursday of April. This would provide an occasion for ICT companies, other companies with ICT departments, ICT training institutions, universities, research centres, and all ICT-related institutions to organize an open day for girls. Another way would be to support the work of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) and of a “Global Network of women ICT decision-makers”. In this regard, the ITU Secretary-General is instructed to encourage the launch of such a network.

A gender perspective will be incorporated in the implementation of the ITU strategic plan and financial plan for 2012-2015, as well as in the operational plans of the Union’s three Bureaux and the General Secretariat. According to the resolution, the Council has the responsibility of expanding on the ITU initiatives of the past four years, to accelerate the gender mainstreaming process in ITU as a whole, within existing budgetary resources, so as to ensure capacity building and promotion of women at senior-level positions. In the resolution, the Council is instructed to consider selecting the theme “Women and Girls in ICT” to mark World Telecommunication and Information Society Day in 2012.

To implement the resolution, the Secretary-General is instructed to announce a year-long Call to Action with a focus on the theme “Women and Girls in ICT”, while the Director of BDT is to bring to the attention of other UN agencies the need to increase the interest and opportunities for girls and young women in ICT careers. The resolution invites Member States and Sector Members to establish and observe annually and internationally “Girls in ICT” day.