Aligned with the International Girls in ICT Day, Ananke, CodeGirls Pakistan, and WomenInTechPK have joined forces to organize a virtual summit celebrating women and girls in the various fields of technology. The theme of the event titled Girls in ICT Summit is ‘Breaking Barriers to Access’ and will be held on May 7th, 2022.
The International Girls in ICT Day is a global movement, and an ITU initiative celebrated in over 150 countries across the globe. The initiative encourages women and especially girls to pursue studies and careers in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths).
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has announced this year’s (2022) theme “Access and Safety”, keeping in mind “discouraging and dangerous obstacles girls can sometimes face in the digital environment.”
According to the ITU: “For girls to thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), they need the knowledge, support, and empowerment of their communities. When girls can safely access and explore the digital world, they can start to imagine future STEM careers, ICT education, and futures in technology for themselves.”
Creating space where women and girls can thrive is critical not just to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs), especially SDG 4 and SDG5, it consequently enhances the lives of individuals, their families, and the communities as a whole. In addition to this, equipping them with relevant tools ensures participation in the future of work, driving progress, and economic activity.
The Girls in ICT Summit aims to identify, highlight and showcase initiatives, conversations, and solutions that strive to bridge the digital gender divide, enabling access to learning and opportunities in a safe and secure environment.
Talking about the pilot event, Founder CodeGirls Pakistan, Shamim Rajani, said: “We are honored to be partnering for this initiative as it directly aligns with our work at CodeGirls where we give coding and business skills training to girls for free. I am looking forward to hosting a panel on technology education at this summit and hearing from other experts working in the same direction. We need to collaborate and synergize to create a bigger impact and I am all for it.”
Agreeing with Shamim and talking about the collaboration, Founder and Executive Editor Ananke, Sabin Muzaffar commented: “I think Girls in ICT Summit will be another stellar example of how working collaboratively helps enable empowerment at the grassroots and makes sure that we leave no one behind. I am absolutely thrilled to be working alongside our amazing allies to trigger conversations that promote and encourage girls’ participation in the fields of STEM and, consequently the Future of Work. I can’t wait for the event to unfold with some exciting activities and discussions.”
WomeninTechPK Founder, Faiza Yousuf said: “Advocacy, awareness, and giving access to opportunities is what we do day in and day out. Joining forces with Ananke and CodeGirls has been a pleasure, as always. We want to reach out to girls and women around the globe to be part of this virtual summit and get inspired to build a career in STEM. We are also hosting an open mentoring session where girls can come in and ask any questions about STEM careers. I am excited and can’t wait to host all the amazing experts and existing and aspiring women in technology that we have invited.”
Helping create pathways to transformation and empowerment, Summit partners include W4, CaterpillHERs, PWiC, Circle Women, Women Engineers Pakistan, Media Matters for Democracy, Code School, Innoventures, and Lotus STEMM.
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Ananke is a new media and development platform creating inclusive conversations in the digital realm. It was launched in 2014 as a digital media entity documenting women’s achievements, showcasing them as role models for aspiring women and girls to emulate. Ananke is a forum that aims to highlight global issues and topics with a gender lens. Under the umbrella of Ananke Labs, the platform organizes impactful events including The Girl Summit, Women In Literature Festival, Speak Now webinars and workshops and more. Ananke has been nominated twice by the World Summit on Information Society Prizes (2019 & 2020) for its digitally inclusive work on gender. Website: https://anankemag.com/
CodeGirls is a community-funded coding, and business skills boot camp for girls and young women, run by Consulnet Corporation, in partnership with United Global Initiative, and WomenInTechPK. It was founded in Q2 of 2018 and is now in its fourth year of operations. CodeGirls’ main focus is to improve gender parity in tech and promote the financial inclusion of Pakistani women by connecting them with better up-skilling and work opportunities.
WomenInTechPK is a women-only community offering a platform where members can talk freely about professional and career-related issues, seek advice and opportunities, find mentors, and forge organizational alliances and individual collaborations. It also arranges offline networking events and meet-ups with a focused agenda to benefit the entire community. Our goal is to help build individual and personal connections, where women can formulate strategies toward creating a more diversified and inclusive environment in Pakistan for women technologists.
Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash