From Switzerland to Somalia girls are creating their own apps; they are programming the robots they build. On Girls in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Day, the United Nations is urging more girls to pursue careers in the fast-paced science and tech industry, generally regarded as a ‘boys-only’ club.
“Each time we introduce more women to the world of ICTs, not only do we take one more step towards achieving gender equality, but we accelerate socio-economic development for all,” said Brahima Sanou, the Director of Telecommunication Development at the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
“In many countries, we are starting to see International Girls in ICT Day initiatives moving from one-day events to sustained, on-going programs to teach girls about ICTs throughout the year.”
Held annually on the fourth Thursday in April, the International Day recognizes the importance of young women in science, technology, engineering and math, and to inform them of the vast potential in these fields. Since its inception, over 300,000 girls and young women have taken part in more than 9,000 celebrations of International Day in 166 countries worldwide.
“The International Girls in ICT Day has become a global movement in which more girls and young women are learning about the wide range of fascinating opportunities ICT careers can offer,” said Houlin Zhao, the Secretary-General of ITU. It is essential that the public and private sectors, as well as academia, and civil society seize the momentum created by the International Day to leapfrog the number of girls pursuing careers in technology.”