Girls in ICT Day (25 April 2019): Expand horizons, change attitudes
Today is the 25 April 2019 and more than 170 countries worldwide get set to promote tech studies to girls and women on ‘Girls in ICT Day’.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the global technology community and an expected 170+ countries will celebrate 'Girls in ICT Day', an international day observed by the United Nations to help bridge the gender digital divide.
The importance the United Nations is placing on technology as a driver of development is reflected in the launch of UN Secretary-General António Guterres' United Nations High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation last year.
Hundreds of events are planned worldwide aimed at inspiring a new generation of girls to explore the exciting opportunities offered by a career in information and communication technology (ICT).
Bridging the gender digital divide
ITU estimates that within the next 10 years, there will be more than two million technology jobs that cannot be filled because of a lack of digital specialists.
Girls and young women who learn coding, app development and computer science will not only be well-placed for a successful career in the ICT sector; advanced digital skills are rapidly becoming a strong advantage for students in almost any other field they might choose to pursue.
Digital skills give qualified girls an edge in a competitive job market, provide a higher salary and enhance career mobility.
This year, ITU will celebrate Girls in ICT Day at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The special focus on Africa recognizes the enormous potential for leveraging ICTs to drive economic growth and development and accelerate progress towards all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
As well as having the lowest rate of Internet penetration, the African region has the widest digital gender gap in the world with only 18.6 per cent of women using the Internet, compared with 24.9 per cent of men.
Girls in ICT Day celebrations
The ITU event at the African Union Commission on 25 April will welcome a number of high-level speakers including H.E. Mr Sisay Tola, State Minister for Innovation and Technology, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and H.E. Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science & Technology.
Around 260 school-age girls from Addis Ababa and across the African continent will participate, and Betty G, one of Africa's fastest-rising young music stars, will be onsite advocating for Girls in ICT.
Read more of the Full Press Statement here
- Girls in ICT Portal here, with full ITU programme here.
- Backgrounder on digital gender divide here.
- Girls in ICT Day observed by the United Nations, list of days here.
- UN General Assembly resolution welcomes Girls in Day: Read (page 4)
- United Nations High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation here.
- Map of global Girls in ICT Day events for 2019 here.
- Facebook Girls in ICT Day 2019 event page here. Organizers are encouraged to send information, photos and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org, and to promote their activities via their social channels using #girlsinICT to tag tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts.
- Girls in ICT Day video message from BDT Director Doreen-Bogdan-Martin here (all UN languages).
- Contact the team at email@example.com to tell us about your Girls in ICT Day celebrations so we can share your event, pictures and videos on the ITU Girls in ICT Portal!
- Advocacy and media resources on Trello board here.
- Videos and photos of the ITU event are also available.