Monday, 23 April 2018 00:43

ITU ICT day focus on girls in IT

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"Expand horizons, change attitudes" is the theme for the International Telecommunication Union's International Girls in ICT Day 2018 to be observed worldwide on 26 April.  

International Girls in ICT Day is a global effort by the ITU to help bridge the digital divide by encouraging young women and girls to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and by highlighting the value that women bring to the tech sector.

Events are held by schools, youth groups, civic organisations and government agencies around the globe. In recent years, Girls in ICT Day events have expanded from one-day events to on-going global programmes designed to teach girls about ICT throughout the year.

The day was founded by, and is supported by, the ITU, the United Nations specialised agency for ICT, as part of the efforts by ITU and its 193 member states to bridge the digital gender divide.

The ITU says that since its inception, more than 300,000 girls and young women have participated in over 9000 International Girls in ICT Day events in 166 countries worldwide – with thousands more girls expected to take part this year.

Organisers of events and initiatives are provided with resources to promote their events. They then pin their events on the ITU International Girls in ICT Day map, creating an interactive and growing global display of the many activities taking place around the world. A global dialogue using #GirlsinICT will also be taking place.

The ITU says ICTs are a key driver of gender equality and women's empowerment and, with improved access to these transformative technologies, women and girls can benefit from increased employment and business opportunities.

According to the ITU, statistics are staggering, revealing that 66.6 million young people are unemployed worldwide and 144.9 million young workers in emerging or developing countries are living in extreme or moderate poverty.

The ITU says that in the coming years there will be tens of millions of jobs for people with advanced digital skills and nearly all jobs will require at least basic digital skills.

ITU advocates and promotes the use of ICT to ensure that women and girls have the necessary skills and tools to fully exploit the benefits of today's digital economy.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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