The United Nations designates May 17 to remind the world each year of the benefits that the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) can bring to societies and economies worldwide.
May 17 also marks the anniversary of the creation of the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations’ specialized agency for information and communications technologies. Along with other activities, the agency strives to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
The theme for 2012 is “Women and Girls in ICT.” Gender equality is a basic human right enshrined in the U.N. Charter. Access to information and communications technologies, the United Nations says, empowers women and girls to take their rightful place as equals in the world.
In an open letter to U.N. member states, Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré of the International Telecommunication Union asked that they host events where girls and young women are invited to ICT companies and government agencies “to appreciate the opportunities the ICT sector holds for their future.”