On April 27, 36 girl students from six schools cut a cake and then went on a tour to meet with women working in the IT divisions of various offices with the department of information technology and telecom (DITT).
The tour was part of the Girls in ICT Day celebrations, which Bhutan was observing for the first time. “ICT in this day and age cannot be an option; rather it should be a compulsion at the pace the world is advancing in technologies,” said the communications minister D N Dhungyel at the celebrations. “If we do not ICTize ourselves, we will lag behind, so it is important for our girls and women alike to know their potential in exploring the ICT sector in the future and make it a part of their daily life.”
Girls in ICT Day was instituted by International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Bhutan became a member of ITU in 1988 and has since then received development support for the ICT sector. “As a member nation, we have also been taking very active roles in the ITU sessions,” Lyonpo Dhungyel said.
Although Girls in ICT Day is an annual event Bhutan was able to observe the day only this year, as the ministry could not garner support from ITU earlier in this regard according to the minister. The ministry will henceforth celebrate this event annually. The day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of April.
Bhutan Telecom and Tashi InfoComm Limited sponsored the event in Thimphu, which is celebrated in 160 countries around the globe. The communications secretary, managing director of Tashi Cell and other relevant officials from ICT sector attended the event.
Bhutan currently has around 113 women working in the ICT sector with different government and semi-government agencies.