Editorial spotlight: International Girls in ICT Day, 2018
The ICT sector presents tremendous opportunities for women. It’s slated to become a very big chunk of the job market, with an estimated 90 per cent of jobs soon requiring ICT skills. But for women to seize these opportunities equally as men, we have to tackle the gender stereotypes and biases that prevent them from pursuing or making it big in STEM-related fields.
Unprecedented hunger for change brings girls expanded horizons and changed attitudes
“We all have a role to play in ensuring that girls can access the skills and training needed to adapt to the challenges and opportunities that technology brings, so that the future of work is rooted in gender equality, and economic opportunities, arrangements and protections that work for all people”.
See the UN Women statement on International Girls in ICT Day ►
The trends are not promising, according to a recent ITU report: the percentage of women in computing jobs has been declining since 1991, when women held 36 per cent of these jobs. As of 2015, they held only 25 per cent of all computing jobs, and for women of colour, the percentage was even lower.
Breaking the stereotypes and creating meaningful access to ICTs for girls and women must start early. As a recent study in the journal Science showed, girls as young as six are already less likely to join an activity for “very very smart kids”.
On 26 April 2018, UN Women joins ITU (the United Nations agency on information and communication) in celebrating International Girls in ICT Day. From promoting women at the top of the tech game, to the girls fighting for equal access to ICTs in their communities, we’re celebrating all the ways that women and girls are making waves in ICTs, and beyond.
Infographic: Women tech heroes
Meet some of the women in tech inspiring the next generation ►
What girls are saying
“I always knew that ICT empowers me to grow without limit, and now, I know that ICT also empowers me to help without limit.”
— Reem El-Dabbagh is working on developing a web application which provides various online services for survivors of violence in Gaza. Read more ►
“The conversation on ICTs needs to move beyond just accessibility (even though access is still a basic concern, as we know that there is a huge gender, and an urban-rural digital divide). The conversation should be about meaningful accessibility. It should focus on affordable and context-appropriate use of digital connectivity, and building a woman’s capabilities to engage”
— Nandini Chami works on policy research and advocacy at the intersection of ICTs, gender equality, and development, at IT for Change, an NGO based in Bengaluru, India. Read more ►
“Technology is the future. Every girl and every woman has huge potential. Why not learn about technology if they want to? In the end, we are all equal.”
— Marita Ciorba was one among 65 participants in the 2017 GirlsGoIT summer camp in Chisinau, Moldova, where girls were exposed to robotics and 3d printing along with information technology. GirlsGoIT aims to empower young Moldovan women in STEM. Read more ►
Join us on social media
Celebrate and join the conversation around International Day of Girls in ICT using #GirlsinICT. A social media package with images and messages in English, Spanish and French is available here.