Celebrating 10 years of International Girls in ICT Day
International Girls in ICT Day took place for the first time ten years ago.
This worldwide commemoration, now held annually on the fourth Thursday of every April, celebrates girls committed to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
It offers them information and encouragement to choose studies and a career in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and other STEM fields.
Girls across the world tend to outperform boys in reading and writing skills, and women are well represented in some STEM areas, such as the life sciences. Yet they continue to be under-represented among the top performers in engineering, physics, and ICTs. On average, just 30 per cent of the world’s researchers are women, and less than a third of female students in higher education opt for fields such as mathematics and engineering.
The gender divide starts when children perceive certain activities or topics, such as computers and technology, as nearly or totally exclusive to one gender.
The divide originating in bias and outdated norms is then perpetuated as children grow up, resulting in gender inequality in technology access, skills and leadership.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – which first established the day in 2011 – works with a variety of partners to bridge the gender digital divide. For example, Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) and ITU are working together to help youth-led, grassroots initiatives in Africa extend their reach, increase their impact, and create opportunities for young women and girls in technology.
International Girls in ICT Day aims to build awareness about the gender divide in ICTs, support technology education and skills training, and encourage more girls and young women to actively pursue careers in STEM.
Since the first one in 2011, over 377,000 girls and young women have taken part in more than 11,400 International Girls in ICT Day celebrations in 171 countries.
Four ways to celebrate
1. Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures
To celebrate International Girls in ICT Day 2021, ITU is co-hosting a special Generation Equality-supported event with partners at the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT) and Oslo Metropolitan University. This interactive discussion includes representatives from ITU Member States, academia, civil society, international organizations, UN agencies and the private sector.
2. Worldwide celebrations
International Girls in ICT Day events take place around the world every year, sponsored by governments, community organizations, corporations, NGOs, clubs and schools. ITU regional offices invite Member States to join the celebrations and to create local, national and regional events of their own.
3. 10 Moments of Girls in ICT
To mark the 10th anniversary of International Girls in ICT Day, ITU is expanding its celebration beyond 22 April, offering themed programming all year long. These moments showcase different aspects of the celebration, from Storytelling to Safety, and from Academia to the Private Sector.
4. #GirlsinICT on Social Media
There is no one type of “Girl in ICT” – the description includes coders, gamers, engineers, artists, entrepreneurs, musicians and more.
Girls in ICT are here to stay
With more global events every year, a vibrant and supportive online community, and endless opportunities to learn and grow, Girls in ICT is a programme which offers scope for further growth in the coming years.
What do the next 10 years have in store for Girls in ICT? Let’s find out together.
Join us as we support connected girls, creating brighter futures.