UN Women and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have announced the launch of the Gender Equality Mainstreaming – Technology (GEM-TECH) Awards.

The GEM-TECH awards are one of the first results of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ITU and UN Women. It provides for increased cooperation between the two UN agencies in areas, including improving women’s access to, and engagement with ICTs, enhancing women’s involvement in ICT policy-making and promoting the power of ICTs in future UN priority action areas, including the post-2015 framework for sustainable development. 

Organisations and individuals from governments, the private sector, civil society, international organisations and academia are eligible for nomination.

There are seven categories under the GEM-TECH Awards:

  • ICT Apps, content, production capacities and skills for women’s social, political empowerment and women’s empowerment linkages with sustainable development.
  • ICT Apps, content, production capacities and skills for women’s social, political empowerment and women’s empowerment and poverty reduction.
  • Initiatives aimed at attracting, retaining and promoting women in ICT.
  • Initiatives aimed towards enabling girls to become ICT creators.
  • Closing the ICT gender gap.
  • Efforts to reduce threats online and building women’s confidence and security in the use of ICTs.
  • ICT and broadband strategies policies, framework that promote women’s digital empowerment.

Winners in each category will be awarded in a ceremony presented by ITU secretary-general Dr Hamadoun I Touré and UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. The ceremony takes place at the 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Republic of Korea, and will be followed by a series of activities to celebrate the winners’ achievements.

“ICTs can and should be a game-changer for girls and women around the world, providing them with avenues for empowerment and for exercising their rights,” said Mlambo-Ngcuka. “We must be deliberate in making this happen and these awards celebrate those that are leading this charge.”

Nominations close on the 5th of September and the award winners will be notified in the beginning of October.

[Source, Image – ITU]