Women and Girls in ICT – World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2012
Be part of the advancement and empowerment of Women and Girls in ICT. This is the message of this year’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) 2012, which has the theme, “Women and Girls in ICT”.
Every year on May 17, WTISD, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) highlights issues that are important to ensuring that the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) are deployed and used to drive development and make significant impact in closing the digital divide. In recent years themes have ranged from Child Online protection, Better life with ICTs in cities, Better Life with ICTs for rural development. This year ITU invites everyone to raise issues involved in the impact and progressive development of women in ICT.
WTISD 2012 should be used to celebrate the achievements of women in ICT, inform and encourage women and men about the impact women have in ICT. Events should be organized to promote the advancement and empowerment of women through ICTs.The WTISD release from ITU states, “On the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2012, ITU calls upon all stakeholders (policy makers, regulators, operators and industry) to promote the adoption of policies and strategies that will promote ICT opportunities for women and girls.
We invite you to consider organizing programmes in your country to mark WTISD 2012 with a focus on the theme: “Women and Girls in ICT”. It would be useful to involve all sections of society to formulate awareness and consensus on the issues underlying the theme”.
In addition, ITU encourages everyone to mark international “Girls in ICT Day” every year on the fourth Thursday of April. This year the “Girls in ICT Day” will be held on 26 April 2012. ITU states that members should “host events where girls and young women are invited to ICT companies and government agencies to appreciate the opportunities the ICT sector holds for their future”.
The role of women cannot be ignored in society. ICT is a sector of immense impact and significance. To individuals it can be life changing and to institutions and nations, it has become essential for growth and development. What role do women play in such a sector? Are girls and women realizing their potentials and living their dreams in this dynamic sector? What are the issues holding women back? We need to smash primitive stereotypes to smithereens. The world loses not just women, if the views, ideas, strengths and contributions are excluded from ICT developments. As ITU insists, ICT should be used “to provide new digital opportunities to end discrimination and empower the female half of the world’s population to achieve their rightful place as equals in the world”.
Be part of the advancement and empowerment of Women and Girls in ICT! Use the 2012 WTISD to highlight digital opportunities, expand horizons and change attitudes on Women and Girls in ICT. Be conscious of this imperative in all that you do in ICT, not just on WTISD; but at all times. It is in the interest of all – women and men. It is about creating a better, more inclusive and sustainable world that benefits us all.