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Blog Posts by Meredith Attwell Baker

International Girls in Information and Communication Technologies Day

by Meredith Attwell Baker, Commissioner
April 27, 2011 - 04:56 PM

Tomorrow, Thursday, April 28th, 2011, is the first annual International Girls in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Day.  Girls in ICT Day is an international initiative launched with the idea of creating a global environment that will empower and encourage girls and young women to consider careers in the field of information and communication technologies.  The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has called upon all ITU member countries to celebrate International Girls in ICT Day on the fourth Thursday in the month of April.
Also tomorrow, the FCC is holding its Career Day at the Commission, where we invite employees to bring their children to work with them and experience a day in the life of an FCC employee.  In connection with both FCC Career Day and International Girls in ICT Day, I encourage all of our ICT stakeholders to open their doors tomorrow in recognition of this important initiative for young women.

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Broadband can improve the lives of women everywhere

October 8, 2010 - 04:54 PM

(Part of the ongoing WISENET Series)

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:36:height=81,width=70]]As the push towards ubiquitous broadband continues in the United States, we must not forget about the digital divide that women in low- and middle-income countries still battle. According to a 2010 study by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), we account for 25 percent or less of Internet users in Africa and Asia. This disparity is even more striking in the Middle East, where only 6 percent of Internet users are women. As a result, women in these countries are generally less literate than the men and are more likely to hold employment with little, if any, job security, wages, or benefits.

Technological innovation provides women with an opportunity to combat these results. Specifically, increased access to broadband technologies in these countries will increase women’s economic independence and efficiency. For example, the Negros Women of Tomorrow Foundation’s (NWTF) Village Phone Program, launched in 2007, has created over 300 phone-operation businesses in low-income countries. Initiatives such as this play a critical role in closing the digital gender divide. In addition to increasing broadband accessibility, it is important to focus on the creation of training programs to ensure that women are effectively utilizing newly introduced technologies.

The study conducted by ICRW can be found at their website.  

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