UN-Women Partners with ITU to Launch 2015 ICT Awards

ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I Touré
ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I Touré

As we are approaching the end of women’s month, we continue to embrace women and enjoy the benefits of post-apartheid South Africa as well as the male-dominated sectors/industries that we can now occupy.

With the number of school girls opting to study technology-related disciplines on the decline in most countries worldwide, different institutes and organizations are committed to championing the catalytic role a tech career can play in creating exciting, far-reaching opportunities for women and girls.

UN Women in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is launching the Gender Equality Mainstreaming – Technology (GEM-TECH) Awards.

This annual ITU-UN Women joint award seeks to create a platform for advancing women’s meaningful engagement in ICT and their role as decision-makers and producers within this sector. In considering gender equality mainstreaming and seeking opportunities in areas which are not always considered for innovation or improvement.

  “ICT can and should be a game-changer for girls and women around the world, providing them with avenues for empowerment and for exercising their rights,” said the Executive Director of UN-Women, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Organisations and individuals from governments, the private sector, civil society, international organisations and academia are eligible for nomination.

GEM-TECH Awards 2014
GEM-TECH Awards 2014

There are seven categories under the GEM-TECH Awards:

  • ICT Apps, content, production capacities and skills for women’s social, political empowerment and women’s empowerment linkages with sustainable development.
  • ICT Apps, content, production capacities and skills for women’s social, political empowerment and women’s empowerment and poverty reduction.
  • Initiatives aimed at attracting, retaining and promoting women in ICT.
  • Initiatives aimed towards enabling girls to become ICT creators.
  • Closing the ICT gender gap.
  • Efforts to reduce threats online and building women’s confidence and security in the use of ICTs.
  • ICT and broadband strategies policies, framework that promote women’s digital empowerment.

Winners in each category will be awarded in a ceremony presented by ITU secretary-general Dr Hamadoun I Touré and UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. The ceremony takes place at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Republic of Korea, and will be followed by a series of activities to celebrate the winners’ achievements.

Mlambo-Ngcuka also emphasised that the success of these awards celebrates the game changers and encourages upcoming ones.