It is estimated that Qatar will need to double jobs in ICT to 40,000 over the next three years and with a focus on generating more Arabic content on the Internet there has never been a better time for women or girls to enter the ICT profession. The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) participated in ITU’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) on May 17th. A range of activities were organized for high school girls who may aspire to careers in the ICT field.
WTISD’s theme for 2012, “Women and Girls in ICT,” aims to raise awareness of the importance of utilizing ICT to ensure women have equal opportunities in the digital economy. Approximately 20 women took part in the activities, which included mentoring sessions with leading women in ICT, as well as tours of Mada (Qatar’s Assistive Technology Center) and ictQATAR’s Q-CERT program. One of the activities included a blogging workshop to encourage the young women to develop their own blog. The session took them through the blogging process, from set up to content creation.
Amina Bint Wahab Secondary Independent School for Girls student, Malath Al-hadi has high aspirations for a career in ICT. She wants to work within the civil aviation field as a computer programmer and intends to do a master’s degree in IT. She said, “I have had a wonderful day, I found it all very interesting. This day has shown me that IT is not just about computers but can do so much to help people in all aspects of life.” Shareefa Alkhayat, also from Amina Bint Wahab Secondary Independent School for Girls in Qatar, said she found the day to be really useful. “After today I would be very interested in learning more about ICT and how it can benefit society. I’m thinking about coming back here as a volunteer to learn more about it before I decide what direction to take in my career.”
Both girls have setup blogs and intent to write about life and society in Qatar. As the Arab region’s ‘blog-a-sphere’ continues to expand, it is a phenomenon that is growing in popularity within the region and there are now an estimated 6,586 active blogs in Qatar. ictQATAR is going to continue to work with these students for four weeks after the event to provide support and advice around the development of blogs and they will then be featured on the TumuhaTEC website and there will be a prize for the best blog.
Generating Arabic content and drawing more young people into careers in ICT are of primary importance to ictQATAR as well as the region, particularly when it comes to generating the many jobs needed over the next two decades.
Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber, ictQATAR’s Secretary General said, “Information and Communication Technology is a tremendous equalizer when it comes to empowering women to be full participants in a knowledge-based society. Qatari women are among the most educated in the world and we need them to be leaders in ICT to ensure our society continues to advance and that the important decisions that are made in the industry have their keen insight.”
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day was created by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies can bring to societies and economies, as well as ways to bridge the digital divide.
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