International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by all ITU Member States in ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Rev. Busan, 2014) . It aims to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in April every year.
For many girls, access and use of ICT remains a huge challenge. Gender discrimination, lack of confidence, language barrier, low literacy, lack of time and money, restricted mobility due to cultural factors or safety often prevent girls from taking advantage of ICT.
Despite increased availability of mobile phones and internet worldwide, access is often characterised in broad economic terms – ‘developing’ v ‘developed’ countries, or analysed at country level: Kenya v Nigeria. Analysis, rather, should include factors like class and wealth status, gender, geographic location, age, disability, literacy, language, and device ownership.
Girls living in the same area may have very different levels of access. An English-speaking Nigerian girl living in an urban high rise with her upper class parents will have more access to ICT than a non-English speaking Nigerian girl with low literacy levels who works long hours cleaning that same apartment and lives in a slum. Similarly, the daughter of a local businessman and community leader in a village can own a mobile phone but one whose family is poor cannot.
Gender discrimination also comes into play, and in places where men and boys dominate women and girls, they also tend to dominate the available ICT. In places where boys are more favoured, their confidence to try new things will tend to be higher. Girls often report that boys monopolise ICT equipment and criticise, scorn and ridicule girls who are using equipment for the first time, making them feel too timid to try again.
To overcome these barriers in Nigeria and precisely in Ondo town of Ondo State, FLD in Africa joined several organizations all over the world in commemorating the International Girls in ICT Day at Adeyemi University of Education, Ondo.
The organization organized a wonderful event on the school’s campus where 40 female participants from various departments were enlightened on the reasons why they need to take up courses in ICT, providing them with role models all over the world who are already engaged in ICT related careers.
The participants engaged in a round-table discussion where they deliberated on the barriers stopping females from taking up ICT related courses and the possible ways out.
They were also trained on basic computer education which included use of the social media, networking and MS DOC.
The participants felt encouraged and were spurred to taking better actions by signing up for code training. The training is still on, being monitored and would be evaluated by a central examination in December 2015.
The event was concluded by the presentation of certificates to the participants.
Citations from theguardian.com