12 June 2012 The United Nations telecoms agency has designated Academy Award-winning Hollywood actress Geena Davis as a special envoy to promote the empowering role technology can play in the lives of women and girls.
Among her duties will be to promote the ‘Tech Needs Girls’ campaign of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – a three-year campaign that seeks to raise global awareness of the role information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play in empowering women.
“I am delighted that Ms. Davis will be joining us in our campaign to help expand the opportunities open to women and girls, and redress the current gender imbalance in the ICT industry,” said ITU’s Secretary-General, Hamadoun Touré.
The new Special Envoy for Women and Girls in the field of technology said she is “thrilled” with her latest role with the ITU.
“This role will enable me to take the work I’m doing to a much bigger scale globally, through developing and consulting on strategies to advance gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women in ICTs,” said Ms. Davis.
“It’s incredibly important to get more women and girls connected to technology, and a big factor in making this happen is going to be ITU’s work,” she added.
The ‘Tech Needs Girls’ campaign aims to highlight the potential of technology to transform women’s lives, whether it be through ICT-based career choices or by improved access to services like e-health, e-education, e-commerce, e-banking and a host of new applications and devices that can help girls and women address their day-to-day challenges, ITU stated in a news release.
It seeks to do this with the help of high-profile ambassadors such as Ms. Davis, as well as with an extensive programme of online multimedia content, major advocacy events around the globe and key partnerships with industry, government, civil society and other UN agencies.
Earlier this year, the Geneva-based ITU launched a multilingual web portal focused on helping girls and women access training, job opportunities and career information in the ICT sector.
The Girls in ICT Portal houses over 400 programmes, including over 100 scholarship programmes and an equal number of contests and awards, some 60 training and internship opportunities, over 100 online networks offering career support and mentoring, as well as tech camps and other activities.
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