Do your bit: Focus on days highlighting international issues International Days and Observances
World Telecommunications Day
"Women and Girls in ICT"

World Telecommunications Day theme for 2012
17 May
The focus of much of telecommunications activities world wide is to harmonize national policies, bridge technological differences, foster interconnectivity and interoperability of systems on a global scale. The result is to bring the world closer - through a phone call, via an email, by watching TV or surfing the web.

One of the key objectives of the World Telecommunications Day is to increase global awareness of the advantages that information and communications technologies have to offer and increase access to ICTs for a greater percentage of the population, especially the lower income groups in developing countries.

Since 2006, the World Telecommunication Day carries added significance as 17 May has also been identified by the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society as "World Information Society Day".. The day is now officially called the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD)

Women are the bedrock of our societies. They are the pillars of strength in every family and community. Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched. Women and girls are denied access to basic health care and education and to equal opportunities at work. They face segregation in economic, political and social decision-making and often suffer violence and discrimination.

This situation is unacceptable and must be addressed with all the means available to us.

Gender equality is a basic human right enshrined in the UN Charter, and it is one of the main objectives of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). ICTs are tools that can help accelerate progress towards achieving this target, and it is for this reason that ITU Council proposed that we focus our efforts this year on women and girls, using the power of ICTs to provide new digital opportunities to end discrimination and empower the female half of the world's population to achieve their rightful place as equals in the world. And this effort with ICTs must begin not only from the cradle, but from antenatal health care, reaching out to the remotest communities -- with every mother, every girl and every woman guaranteed her birthright.

The theme of this year's WTISD - Women and Girls in ICTs - aims to ensure that this vulnerable female half of the world's population will march forward as equals.

Additional Resources:

GDRC has been working on themes related to this international day/observance, in its programme on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

GDRC reaffirms its committment to uphold the objectives of the World Telecommunications Day, and work towards better understanding of, and action on, " ... bringing the world a little closer".

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