ITU highlights that the lack of young women participating in ICT studies is reflected in companies and government agencies around the world. The sector is currently maledominated, especially at senior levels. Where women are present, it is often in low-level,low-skilled jobs.
While girls across the world tend to outperform boys in reading and writing skills, they continue to be under-represented amongst top performers in Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). Moreover, not enough young people are choosing careers in ICT – especially not enough young women.
Consequently, International Girls in ICT Day, an initiative backed by all ITU Member States in ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Rev. Busan, 2014), was initiated to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of ICTs, enabling both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector.
In essence, the ITU Girls in ICT Day events make girls and young women aware of the vast possibilities ICTs offer, quelling misconceptions about the sector, and inviting them to envision their future as ICT creators. These goals are in alignment with the African Union Agenda 2063 Aspiration 1, which provides for a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development: to inter alia develop Africa’s human and social capital (through an education and skills revolution emphasizing science and technology … particularly for women and girls.
Important to note is that supporting the education of women and girls in the ICTs also advances the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) no. 5, to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls through, among other domains, ICTs. Not only do jobs in the tech sector lift women out of poverty; but also, a more gender-balanced
sector offers fulfilling mid- and high-level careers, and enables highly talented women to springboard to the top of the career ladder.
ITU purports that Girls and young women have the potential not only to become ICT users, but also to become ICT creators. Therefore, supporting the global Girls in ICT movement ITU Girls in ICT Day Goals Encouraging girls and young
women to pursue STEAM education,Inspire girls and young women to work in STEAM careers,Engage the community
and promote collaboration through partnerships.
ITU Girls in ICT Day took place on the 22 April 2021, not only empowers girls and young women, but also giving them the confidence to pursue ICT studies and careers.
At Orizur, we recognize our responsibility to inspire future generations to become technology leaders and active participants of the digital world. It is for this reason we are joining the global movement to empower girls and young women to bridge the gender digital divide.
With our media partner, Cyber in Africa, we will be hosting the 10th Year Anniversary Celebration of ITU Girls in ICT Day on Thursday, the 22 April 2021. Our aim to hosting this event is to encourage more girls and young women to actively pursue careers in STEAM.
We have themed our local event “Change begins with us”.Our programme consists on panel discussion and keynote speech. The panel consist of roles models and leaders in the STEM area as follows:
Ms Agnes Ntoumba – a Biological Scientist from Cameroon
Princess Senamile Masango – a South African Nuclear Scientist
Ms Valentine Valentine Dushimiyimana – a Health Scientist from Rwanda
Ms Ibukunoluwa Olajide – a Graduate of Electrical and Electronics from Nigeria
Ms Zwothe Khorommbi– an Electrical Engineer from South Africa.
The panel discussion was followed by keynote speech from the women in ICT veteran Ms Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane.Our target participants include the girls and young women and anyone who has interest in empowering women to take interest and participate in the STEAM careers.
One of the aspirations expressed in Agenda 2063 is “an Africa whose development is people driven, especially relying on the potential offered by its women and youth.” Therefore, let us all support and encourage girls and young women to participate at this celebration; the only one hosted in South Africa; giving them an opportunity to learn from the STEAM role models and leaders.