Comments of BDT Director for the Joint ITU-UNICEF Commemoration of
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD
12 October 2015.
BDT Pavilion, ITU Telecom '15
Ladies and Gentlemen, ITU Girls in ICT stakeholders, I’m delighted to welcome our sister United Nations agency, UNICEF to our joint celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child at the BDT Pavilion here at ITU TELECOM 2015.
I am also delighted to welcome Skool, a Hungarian NGO that is actively investing in girls’ tech skills, as you will all see in their upcoming demonstration!
UNICEF, as the lead agency for the International Day of the Girl Child, has called for all UN agencies, Member States and other stakeholders to invest “in high quality education, skills, training, access to technology and other learning initiatives that prepare girls for life, jobs, and leadership.”
This call is noble and the expected results are gratifying.
I am pleased to share with you the significant investment ITU, its Member States and other partners have already made through the ITU Girls in ICT Day initiative, a day that is celebrated annually on the 4th day of the 4th week of the 4th month.
Our global Girls in ICT Day campaign has encouraged more than 177,000 girls in 150 countries around the world to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the so-called STEM topics, to prepare themselves for ICT careers.
Why do we lead the International Girls in ICT Day campaign? For three key reasons:
- There is an unfilled demand for people with ICT skills which cuts across all sectors, from agriculture, construction, education, service industries to ICT jobs themselves.
- ICT jobs can lift marginalized women and their families out of poverty because ICT careers are among the highest paid careers.
- As ICTs continue to infiltrate all aspects of our lives, it is essential to build a new generation of women around the world who are creators of the technology that is transforming our lives.
We can only achieve these goals if we invest in girls, by giving them the tools and skills they need to move from consuming ICTs to actively developing ICTs.
We also encourage all stakeholders to organize a Girls in ICT Day event on 28 April 2016 – check out the Girls in ICT Portal for more information (www.girlsinict.org).
Happy International Day of the Girl Child!