ICT Ministry receives global accolade for empowering women
from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS – THE Ministry of Communication Technology has received an international award for leading pioneering projects and advocacy linked to harnessing the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to boost gender empowerment.
The Ministry was one of several organizations honoured at the inaugural GEM-TECH Awards held in Busan, Korea.
It won in Category 7: ICT and broadband strategies, policies and frameworks that promote women’s digital empowerment.
Other winners were from such countries as India, United Kingdom, South Africa, Philippines and Dominican Republic.
The awards were conferred by International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun Touré before some 2 500 delegates at a special ceremony in the morning Plenary session of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference.
Co-organized with UN Women, the GEM-TECH Awards recognize the outstanding achievements of organizations and individuals in the area of gender equality and mainstreaming through information and communication technology (ICT).
The launch of the awards in June of this year prompted over 360 nominations from over 70 countries around the world. The awards were open to leading women and men, as well as organizations working in the field of ICT and gender.
Touré congratulated the winners, praising the exceptionally high quality of nominations, and stressed that much still needs to be done to leverage the full power of ICTs to improve the lives of women and men.
“It is almost 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – so where do we stand today with reference to Gender Equality and Mainstreaming?” asked Dr Touré, who pointed to a ‘gender digital divide’ that is particularly worrying in the developing world.
“ITU estimates that some 200 million fewer women are online compared to men. Women are coming online later, and more slowly. Without remedial action, it is estimated that the internet gender gap could grow to 350 million within three or four years. Equality in access to broadband is not only an issue of right and wrong; it also makes commercial and economic sense,” he said.
– CAJ News
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