The global celebration of Girls in ICT Day, when ITU and thousands of partners and supporters all around the world get together to promote the exciting career opportunities waiting for girls and young women in the tech sector, is one of the top events on my calendar every year.
But this year, we face an unprecedented challenge. The COVID-19 global health emergency has turned our world upside down. Limiting the spread of this highly infectious virus demands radical changes to the way we work, and interact with one another.
Major events all around the world are being cancelled or postponed. At ITU, we continue to be open for business, but in a different way. We’ll still be commemorating Girls in ICT Day on 23 of April, but in a virtual format.
So this year, we strongly encourage you to focus your activities around social media outreach and virtual events, rather than live gatherings. Let’s turn our constraints into an opportunity to really demonstrate the power of technology to change lives.
Let’s get creative on TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, with engaging messaging, images, videos and more.
And – where feasible – let’s take advantage of video conferencing and collaboration platforms like Zoom, Skype, Jabber, Facetime, Houseparty and others to connect remotely for dialogues and debates on more effective strategies to bridge the digital gender divide, and get more girls into tech.
At ITU, we’re working to transform our own on-site celebrations in Samoa into a fun and inspiring virtual event, in collaboration with the Samoan government. We’ll be sharing details about how all stakeholders can join the excitement on our Girls in ICT portal in early April.
At the same time, we’re working to finalize a new social media package, available for download from our website from Monday 30 March.
And of course, our Girls in ICT portal remains the central hub for sharing your activities with the Girls in ICT community right around the world. We’ll still be mapping your (virtual) celebrations, so don’t forget to tell us all about your unique way of adapting your Girls in ICT Day 2020 for maximum outreach and effect.
I wish you all an engaging, exciting and inspiring Girls in ICT Day 2020, and above all, stay healthy.