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Girls in ICT Day discussion looks to inspire young women

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To mark the 10 anniversary of International Girls in ICT Day on 22 April, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will host a virtual high-level panel session.

The session aims to encourage more girls and young women to actively pursue careers in STEM to bridge the gender digital divide.

Celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday in April, Girls in ICT Day is a global movement observed by the United Nations (UN).

Hundreds of organisers and thousands of girls and young women have become part of the global movement, including ITU member states and private sector members, ITU academia members, schools, universities and NGOs around the world.

The theme of this year’s Girls in ICT virtual panel is “Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures”, featuring speakers such as UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and Doreen Bogdan-Martin, director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau.

According to the ITU, the celebrations will highlight the 10 moments in the life of young girls, bringing into focus some of the key stakeholders and industries responsible for promoting girls in the field of technology.

Furthermore, the session will be available in all six UN official languages with live captioning.

In support of the global movement, video-sharing social networking platform TikTok is promoting #GirlsInICT on its app.

In a statement, TikTok says Girls in ICT Day recognises women in the ICT sector, as well as encourages young women around the world to play a greater role in the technology revolution.

“As the ICT sector is typically considered a male-dominated industry, International Girls in ICT Day is a great way to draw attention to the critical need for more women in the sector. For South Africa especially, there is a need for people with these skills,” it states.

TikTok has encouraged its community to get involved on this day by taking part in the #GirlsInICT challenge in-app. “All users need to do is share their tips and techniques for using different technological tools along with the hashtag.”

To join the ITU’s Girls in ICT Day online dialogue, click here.

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