Solomon Islands Celebrate Girls in ICT Day

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A group photo of the Women in IT (SI) with officials of the event.

The joint Ministry of Education and Human Resources (MEHR), Telecommunication Commissions Solomon Islands (TCSI) and Women in Information Communication Technology Solomon Islands (WITSI) has officially celebrated the 2018 Girls in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Day at the Mendana Hotel in Honiara.

The global event marks its first commemoration in Solomon Islands with the theme – ‘Expanding Horizons, Change Attitudes’. The country has one of the lowest shares of female participation in the Information and Communication sector of the country.

The occasion serves as an opportunity to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of ICTs, enabling both girls and technology companies to reap the benefit of greater female participation in the ICT sector.

Meanwhile, the key invited guest of the celebratory event and the founder of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Mathematics Association (STEM) Ms Priscilla Kevin said the event with the theme-Expanding Horizons, Change Attitudes-is organized in response to the International Girls in ICT Day which is an initiative by all members of states of the International Telecommunication Unit, in which Solomon Islands is part of.

“The event is organized to convince more girls to pursue ICT and also to encourage our women ICT professionals not to settle with their current role of expertise but to strive to go further.

“Therefore, the event is marked to encourage girls and women to consider moving into ICT entrepreneurship and also to break the commonly perceived male dominated industry and to provide literacy to girls and women to be conscious about the dark side of the country,” Pricilla added.

Ms Priscilla Kevin is a technology specialist who dreams of making PNG “the silicon Valley of the Pacific”

Ms Priscilla Kevin, founder of PNG’s Women in STEM Association.

International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated annually around the world with the purpose to raise awareness on the growing importance of digital skills to pursue successful professional careers across sectors.

The initiative aims to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs), enabling both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector.

In special remarks to mark the event, the President of the Information and Technology Society Solomon Islands (ITSSI), Mr Marlon Houkarawa said as the National IT Association in the country, we are committed to support the initiatives of WITSI in advocating ICT literacy to our girls and women in the country.

“The IT Society (SI) has specifically included Women in ICT Advocating within our corporate strategic plan and therefore we will ensure support is provided in any of their future plans,” she told participants of the event.

He added that the celebratory event purposely tries to convince our secondary school girls to pursue ICT as a career, while at the same time convince our existing women IT professionals not to settle for less but to aim high within the ranks of their organisation.

“The aim is to go further in studies in ICT; or even aim to go into entrepreneurship and own your own ICT business or company. Why? Because ICT is a growing industry with demands and opportunities,” he added.

The major co-funders and sponsors of the event: UNESCO National Commission, Ministry of Education and Human Resources (MEHR), Ministry of Communication and Aviation (MCA), Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Telecommunication Commissions Solomon Islands (TCSI), Forum Fisheries Agencies (FFA) and Solomon Telecom Company.

To date, over 300,000 girls and young women have taken part in more than 9,000 celebrations of International Girls in ICT Day in 166 countries worldwide.

Four female students from KG Sixth National Secondary School.