Geena Davis named ?Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT?

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The ITU or International Telecommunications Union is an agency under the United Nations that is focused on the information and communication technology sector. The new partnership follows the naming of Davis as a laureate at this year?s World Telecommunication and Information Society Awards, which were held at the ITU headquarters in Geneva on May 16. One of Davis?s first activities in her new role as special envoy will be to promote ITU?s new ?Tech Needs Girls? campaign throughout the course of 2012, through public appearances at high-profile events held by ITU and others. Davis will speak on the importance of further extending access to technology to women worldwide, will reinforce the importance of positive gender role models, and will highlight the many exciting career opportunities available to young women in the high-tech sector. ?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. 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,? Davis said. The three-year campaign will raise awareness worldwide of the role information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play in empowering women. Via high-profile ambassadors like Davis and an extensive program of online multimedia content, major advocacy events around the globe and key partnerships with industry, government, civil society and other UN agencies, the campaign highlights 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. Earlier this year, ITU launched a new multilingual Web portal focused on helping girls and women access training, job opportunities and career information in the fast-growing information and communication (ICT) sector. The Girls in ICT Portal houses over 400 programs, including over 100 scholarship programs 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. The portal also showcases photos, videos and best practice from ?Girls in ICT Day? events, which are held around the world on the fourth Thursday in April every year, following a decision taken at ITU?s 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico. In 2012, over 1,320 Girls in ICT Day events were held in nearly 90 countries around the world, providing an estimated 30,000 young women with a better understanding of ICT opportunities. ]]>

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