For Immediate Release
Bangkok - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) signed a joint declaration on July 5th, 2022 on promoting gender equity and inclusion in cybersecurity for Asia and the Pacific.
USAID and ITU recognize that the gender digital divide significantly hampers women’s ability to improve their lives, the stability of their families, and the resilience of their communities. The partnership will provide opportunities for women to further their skills, career, and training in the digital world. These programs include supporting the “Girls in ICT” and “Women in Cyber” mentorship programs through research to better understand the state of women’s participation in the cybersecurity workforce in Southeast Asia, and training for female journalists on cybersecurity issues. To further address the digital gender gap, USAID and ITU will partner with the private sector and international organizations to train women and girls in digital literacy and cybersecurity.
“Supporting gender equality is at the core of USAID’s mission. We believe that only when women and girls have the appropriate information, skills, and opportunities to participate in the digital ecosystem—from using social media safely, setting up online businesses, and working in tech-related fields—will the digital ecosystem achieve its full potential,” says USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia Mission Director Steven G. Olive. “This strategic partnership, which we are thrilled to be part of, signifies that we are ensuring inclusive and meaningful connectivity through our collective efforts. This allows us to move one step closer in the continuous support of digital inclusion.”
Through its Digital Asia Accelerator program, USAID has invested more than $4 million to support women and girls across Southeast Asia to safely navigate and use digital tools, and USAID will continue to do so as this partnership with ITU continues to thrive.
Ms. Atsuko Okuda, ITU Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, echoed the importance of ITU’s partnership with USAID in the region. She said, “we share our common objectives of connecting the unconnected and promoting digital inclusion and we bring to the table our respective expertise and networks. For example, in June we were able to bring to the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference held in Rwanda a group of female journalists from the region. This exciting initiative would not have been possible without a partner like USAID,” she added.
Founded in 1865, ITU is a United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies. With the commitment of connecting people around the world, ITU continues to deliver on its promises as they join with USAID to foster international cooperation in the delivery of technical assistance to developing countries to promote the development of their telecommunication networks and services while focusing on promoting gender equity and inclusion in cybersecurity for Asia and the Pacific.