Nº 10 2012 > ITU Telecom World 2012 | Special report
The importance of women in ICT
Ministerial round table
ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré called on governments and ICT businesses throughout the world to bring in and develop the huge untapped potential of women and girls. “When solving a problem, always ask both men and women, to see how they tackle issues from different angles”, he advised.
Echoing Dr Touré’s appeal for gender parity, Deborah Taylor Tate, ITU Special Envoy for Child Online Protection, deplored the lack of women in ICT jobs throughout the world. She saw female role models as being important in encouraging girls to get into ICT and strive for success.
Representing the government of Costa Rica, Health Minister Daisy María Corrales Díaz called for increased inclusion of women, noting that ICT can reach women in their homes, in particular in rural areas, and drive economic prosperity.
Acclaimed as the person who brought the Internet to Tunisia, Khédija Ghariani, Secretary General of the Arab Information and Communication Technology Organization, said “We must encourage women to reach posts at the decision-making level, in government and in the private sector. Then we will see results that are truly extraordinary.”
According to Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s Minister of Communication Technology, deliberate and committed inclusiveness of women is the single major factor in empowering women.
Representing the President of Gabon, former Minister of Communication, Posts and Telecommunications, Laure Olga Gondjout, said that governments and industry must invest in providing gender parity in the ICT sector, in order to enable women to move beyond simply being ICT users to become creators.
Dr Hessa Al-Jaber, Secretary General of ictQATAR, appealed to society to respect women and girls, stressing that without such respect no amount of education, career development or empowerment would see real progress. “Change must come from within society, from within communities and from within women themselves. Parents, raise your children equally!”