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 Tuesday, March 08, 2011
ITU to hold High-level Debate for International Women’s Day

To commemorate 100 years of International Women’s Day, ITU is organizing a High-level Panel Debate on 10 March 2011 around the theme of female participation in the information and communication technology industry.

What’s behind the sharp downwards trend in young women opting to study information and communication technology? ICT qualifications offer good job prospects and higher-than-average remuneration. Yet in the US, for example, the proportion of girls studying ICT courses has dropped from a mid-‘80s high of 37% to just 29% today – and falling.

Many European economies are now predicting a crisis in the number of trained IT professionals within the next 10-15 years. What is putting girls off technology? And why are some countries – particularly in the Asian region – succeeding in attracting female IT students? What are they doing differently – and getting right?

Entitled ‘Goodbye to the IT girl: Why are young women deserting  technology?’ the debate will look at how ICTs are taught in schools and universities, how girls perceive careers in technology – and what is informing their life choices. What are the cultural and economic barriers – and how might we encourage more girls into the technology field?

See www.itu.int/en/womensday/Pages/default.aspx for full details of panelists and timings.

This event is open to representatives from UN agencies, national missions, the ICT industry, the education sector and the general public. RSVP by email to pressreg@itu.int by 16:00 on 8 March is essential to attend this event.

Interpretation will be provided in French and English, and the event will be accessible via live and archived audiocast at: http://www.itu.int/ibs/sg/20110310WomenDay/index.phtml