- Brahima Sanou, BDT Director, ITU
Girls in ICT Day: Transforming the lives of women and girls – through ICTs
International Girls in ICT Day will be celebrated on 26th of April 2018, with the theme “expand horizons, change attitudes.”
ITU advocates and promotes the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to ensure women and girls have the necessary skills and tools to fully exploit the benefits of today’s digital economy.
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ICTs are a key driver of gender equality and women’s empowerment. With improved access to these transformative technologies, women and girls can benefit from increased employment and business opportunities. Statistics are staggering: 66.6 million young people are currently unemployed worldwide and 144.9 million young workers in emerging or developing countries are living in extreme or moderate poverty.
However, it is important to remember that there will be tens of millions of jobs for people with advanced digital skills in the coming years and that nearly all jobs require at least basic digital skills.
Under the theme “expand horizons, change attitudes” International Girls in ICT Day 2018 is not just a global effort to help bridge the digital divide but also an opportunity to encourage young women and girls to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
At the recent World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17) ITU Member States adopted Resolution 55 which calls for continued support to International Girls in ICT Day and efforts of ITU membership to undertake yearlong activities to make girls and young women aware of job opportunities in the ICT sector as well as to develop their ICT skills.
In many countries, we are starting to see Girls in ICT Day initiatives moving from one-day events to sustained, on-going programmes to teach girls about ICTs throughout the year.
I encourage you to visit the Girls in ICT Day portalto find out how you can go about organizing a Girls in ICT event in your locality.
I look forward to seeing your events on the Girls in ICT Map and I encourage all stakeholders to get inspiration from the activities presented below to take action throughout the year.
ITU looks forward to working with you to ensure that every day is Girls in ICT Day!
Ministry of Economic Planning, Sustainable Development, Industry, Information and Labour, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Last year, to mark Girls in ICT Day, the Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) of the Ministry of Economic Planning, Sustainable Development, Industry, Information and Labour, collaborated with the Ministry of National Mobilisation, Social Development, Family, Gender Affairs, Persons with Disabilities and Youth, to organize a three-day event for over 80 participants.
On 25 and 26 April, four hands-on workshops were run at the Layou Learning Resource Centre and the SVG e-Government Centre Training Room in Kingstown to train participants on basic digital skills including introduction to computers, the use of the Internet, Microsoft Word, Publisher and Excel. On 27 April, young girls from the communities of South Windward and Kingstown participated in Graphic Design and Photography training at the SVG E-Government Centre Training Room.
DATA Nagaa Khamis, Egypt
With the participation of the President of the Information Technology Institute Dr. Heba Saleh, DATA celebrated International Girls in ICT Day in collaboration with the Institute of Information Technology “ITI” by holding a three-month training for girls on how to create desktop and web applications.
At the end of the training the girls created desktop and web applications to solve some of the challenges they face in the society.
Women and Information Society NGO, Armenia
Female students from different Armenian schools aged 10-18, had an opportunity to participate in the world’s largest Technological Entrepreneurship Technovation Project.
During the 12 weeks of the initiative, the teams consisting of 5 girls looked into themes related to the Sustainable Development Goals (environment, poverty, peace, equality, education and healthcare) choosing one concerning their community and, with the help of the acquired relevant skills, created mobile applications to solve those problems with the MIT App Inventor programme.
Municipality of Milan, Italy
The Municipality of Milan celebrated International Girls in ICT Day 2017 through the #STEMintheCity programme, promoted by the Regional Ministries of Digital Technologies, Civic Services, Education and Instruction, Labour, Productive industries, Commerce and Human Resources of the Municipality of Milan.
The project ran over the month of April with a series of activities to promote and and to encourage girls to study technology and scientific subjects. The activities organized included training sessions, workshops, seminars, round tables, conferences, hackathons, mentoring sessions and companies guided tours. For the 2018 celebrations the Municipality of Milan announced a complete plan for the month of April connected to International Girls in ICT Day to elevate digital skills for girls, aimed at offering more than 100 training projects to all girls aged 3-25.
Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Senegal
On the occasion of International Girls in ICT Day, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in Senegal organized, among other activities, a three-day hackathon which gave the opportunity to girls and young women to design and develop innovative solutions to address concrete challenges in different sectors including agriculture, e-health and education, within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.
A jury examined all submissions and the ten most promising projects were selected to be further developed by the girls during the Hackathon with the support of expert mentors from different sectors. The event ended with the final presentation of all project on 21 May and the award ceremony for the three best projects.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology
This year, under the Girls in ICT programme, Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology has established 226 computer labs in Government Girls’ institutions in Islamabad. Over 100,000 students and 202 teachers are now being provided with training by Microsoft. “It’s a paradigm shift in education which this program is modeling for rest of Pakistan. To teach coding at a basic level is the corner stone of this program. That’s where we can capitalize [on] the true strength of Pakistan,” said Tahir Mushtaq, from the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) in Pakistan.
This shows that Girls in ICT Day can impact an entire generation in the country.
If you are interested in planning your own events or programmes for Girls in ICT Day, 26 April 2018, we encourage you to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and to visit the Girls in ICT Day Portal which hosts resources for companies, partners, governments and NGOs to host open-days or hands-on training for girls. View our interactive map to see events from around the globe to get inspired.
This post was originally published on ITU News on 26 March 2018.