On 8 April 2011, ITU announced the establishment of an international
"Girls in ICT Day", which will be held every year on the fourth
Thursday in April. Girls around the world gathered on 28 April 2011 to
celebrate the first annual international Girls in ICT Day. The Day
celebrates girls' interests and strengths, and encourages them to
choose a career in information and communication technologies.
The new "Girls in ICT Day" is the direct result of the adoption of
Resolution 70 by ITU's Plenipotentiary Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico,
in October 2010. The Resolution, "Gender mainstreaming in ITU and promotion
of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information and
communication technologies", resolved to incorporate a gender perspective
in the implementation of all ITU programmes and plans. Other results so far
include the launch of the Global Network of Women ICT Decision-Makers, and
a high-level debate to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women's
Girls can do ICT!
The message "Girls can do ICT! " was the theme of this year's celebrations.
The aim was to exchange ideas and experiences, and find ways to tell girls
and young women information and communication technologies are tools of
empowerment, and that a career in ICT not only offers new and exciting
challenges but also is very rewarding.
"This new Girls in ICT Day will provide a muchneeded boost to female
participation in the ICT sector," said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I.
Touré. "With many countries now forecasting a shortage of skilled ICT
professionals within the next ten years, it is vital that we attract young
women into technology if we are to sustain healthy growth rates for the
industry overall. With excellent employment opportunities and very good
remuneration, a career in technology represents an excellent choice for
girls in every country worldwide."
"With many countries now forecasting a shortage of skilled
ICT professionals within the next ten years, it is vital
that we attract young women into technology if we are to
sustain healthy growth rates for the industry
What will the Day achieve? Although women and men have the same choices of
careers, there is still a mindset that distinguishes between typically male
and female occupations. This creates a predetermined picture of the future
careers of boys and girls, tending to restrict choices. As a result, girls
are underrepresented in engineering and computer science. "Girls in ICT"
Day encourages girls to let their career path be defined by personal
interest and talent, not by stereotypes. It promotes an interest in
technology, computer science, new communication media and engineering,
offering girls opportunities to make contacts for their future career and
to be inspired by women in leadership positions.
ITU actively encourages its Member States and Sector Members to get
involved and organize local, regional and national events designed to
showcase ICT and technology careers to young female students. It also
invites ministries of education, ministries of communications and other
government entities to support the initiative by partnering with
private-sector companies to reach out to young girls through schools,
tertiary institutions and in-house mentoring and shadowing programmes.
ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) will be spearheading a
number of gender-related initiatives over the course of the year, such as
the new partnership with Telecentre.org to train disadvantaged women in
basic use of ICT equipment and applications. "Technology is now widely
recognized as a critical enabler of socio-economic development," said BDT
Director Brahima Sanou. "Leveraging the power of ICT to improve the
livelihood of women worldwide has the power to accelerate progress towards
achieving, by the target date of 2015, United Nations Millennium
Development Goal 3: promote gender equality and empower women."