This week, the International Telecommunication Union will be celebrating girls on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Day.
This day is acknowledged in 170 countries and observed by the United Nations. The aim of this day it to help bridge the digital gender divide and spark interest in young girls and women to join the ICT sector.
According to IT Web, Girls in ICT Day is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday in April, and it was established in 2010, generating over 11 000 events in 171 countries and has reaching more than 350 000 young women.
“Girls in ICT Day is a call to action to inspire the next generation of girls and young women to learn more about the exciting world of tech,” explained ITU secretary general, Houlin Zhao.
IT Web adds that the ITU points out that girls and young women who learn coding, app development and computer science will be well-placed for successful careers in the ICT sector, as it estimates that within the next 10 years more than two million technology jobs will not be able to be filled due to a lack of necessary digital skills.
ITU says that advanced digital skills are becoming a strong advantage for students in almost any other field they might choose. Digital skills give qualified girls the edge in a competitive job market and provide a higher salary and enhance career mobility, they explain
“Technology is one of the most powerful tools we have for empowering women and girls. An ICT career gives girls the chance to be at the heart of the world’s most exciting and fast growing industry, and the ICT industry needs women to play an equal role in the creation, design and implementation of the devices and platforms that are becoming indispensable to the way we live,” added Zhao.
Furthermore ITU says that the special focus on Africa recognises the enormous potential for leveraging ICT to drive economic growth and development, and accelerate progress towards all 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations.