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Press release: Finalists announced for the 2016 GEM-TECH Awards

Finalists announced for the 2016 GEM-TECH Awards

ITU and UN Women select outstanding projects to empower women and girls through innovative technologies




Geneva, 17 October 2016

ITU and UN Women announced today the fourteen finalists for the 2016 GEM-TECH Awards to advance women's participation in the ICT sector. This annual award honours outstanding projects and programmes around the world that promote the empowerment of women and girls through innovative uses of technologies.

The third annual GEM-TECH Awards received 311 nominations from 81 countries from a wide range of organisations and entities coming from government, industry and academia as well as civil society. Nominations covered a number of topics including women's safety apps, e-government solutions, e-agri projects to support women's economic empowerment and innovative digital skills training for women and girls.

"The world must become more equal," said Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of ITU. "ICTs are an essential pathway towards gender equality and gender empowerment. The GEM-TECH Awards demonstrate the amazing work being done around the world to bridge the gender digital divide and prepare future technology leaders."

"Information and communication technologies need the extra dimension of women's talents and expertise," added UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka."Conversely, women can benefit enormously from empowering technological innovations. These come together through the GEM-TECH awards which help us to show individuals, organizations and governments across the world exactly how to integrate gender and technology in their work, with great practical examples and personal role models."

Three winners will be selected by a committee of experts from ITU and UN Women. They will be announced at an awards ceremony on 15 November 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand during ITU Telecom World 2016, the international tech event featuring leading experts from the technology sector, innovative digital solutions, and a debates forum on the key ICT issues shaping the future.

The finalists of this year's award, who are also featured in this video and their outstanding projects and programmes come from the following categories:

1.      Applying technology for women's empowerment

The Finalists are: Women's Network Equality in Decision Making, Albania; Safe Haven Map, Nossas Cidades, Brazil; Kanyashree, Department of Women Development, Child Development & Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal, India; Aliadas en Cadena, Venezuela; WikiProject Women in Red, Wikipedia, Global.

2.      Promoting women in the technology sector

The Finalists are: Girls in Tech, Indonesia; TECHNOLOchicas, Televisa Foundation, NCWIT, Mexico and USA; VHTO, the Dutch National Expert Organisation on Girls/Women and Science/Technology, The Netherlands; Laboratoria, Peru, Mexico and Chile; Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW) Foundation, Nigeria and USA.

3.      Develop gender responsive ICT governance, policy and access

The Finalists are:  Unidad de Gobierno Digital de la Secretaria de la Funcion Publica, Mexico; Women's Rights Online and Alliance for Affordable Internet, World Wide Web Foundation, Global; Bangladesh Association of Software and IS (BASIS) Women's Forum, Bangladesh; Internet Governance in the MENA Region (igMena), The Netherlands.

About the GEM-TECH Awards

Jointly organized by ITU and UN Women, the GEM-TECH Awards were launched in 2014 in recognition of the important role that new technologies play in the empowerment of women and girls.

The inaugural GEM-TECH Awards were presented at ITU's 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Republic of Korea. Seven winners were recognized for promoting gender equality and mainstreaming through ICTs. In 2015, the GEM-TECH Awards were celebrated in New York City and recognized three winners for their remarkable uses of technology to advance women's empowerment.

ITU and UN Women are continuing to partner to advance gender equality through digital technologies and will launch the first partners meeting of EQUALS: The Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age following the GEM-TECH Awards Ceremony on November 16, in Bangkok, Thailand.