Accra Mail (Accra)

23 May 2012

Ghana: 'Women and Girls in ICT'

The Ministry of Communications and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), have marked the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2012 (WTISD) in Accra. It was on the theme: "Women and Girls in ICT'.

The purpose of the celebration is to create awareness on the possibilities of using the internet and other information and communication technologies to enhance economies, as well as bridge the digital divide. It is to encourage and generate the interest of females to consider pursuing careers in ICT, right from the primary through to the tertiary level.

Speaking at the celebration, the Deputy Minister for Communications, Mr. Ernest Attuquaye Armah, said 17th May marks the 147th anniversary of the signing of the International Telegraph Convention.

He said the programme is to ensure that women and girls of the world's population would march forward as equals with their male counterparts in ICT.

He disclosed that the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence, had trained sixty-seven market women on a capacity building programme on the theme, 'Empowering Women in the use of ICT tools and Equipment'.

The programme, he said gave the market women the opportunity to use the computer and the internet to seek information and pledged the government's determination to ensure that ICT facilitated women's empowerment and full participation on the basis of equality in all spheres of economic endeavour and in all decision-making processes.

A statement read by a representative from the UN Secretary-General's office said women are currently benefiting from ICT in diverse ways such as creating opportunities for entrepreneurship, enabling midwives to make childbirth safer and allowing women to socialize around the world to mobilize for democracy, dignity and human rights.

It said information and communication technologies had the potential to cause harm such as cyber bullying, internet-driven human trafficking and other abuses often targeted at women and girls.

"We must do everything possible to stop these crimes and promote greater online security for all."

The statement urged all ICT officials and stakeholders to strive to optimize the power of ICT and support sustainable development through gathering, dissemination and analyzing of information.

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