Interview with Ms Geena Davis, Founder, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at the World Summit for the Information Society Forum 2012, Geneva, Switzerland.
Academy Award Winning Actor and advocate Geena Davis is to become ITU's Special Envoy for Women and Girls in the field of technology, in the first major announcement linked to a new ITU campaign highlighting the empowering role technology can play in the lives of women and girls.
The new partnership follows the naming of Ms Davis as a laureate at this year's World Telecommunication and Information Society Awards, which were held at ITU headquarters in Geneva on May 16.
One of Ms Davis's first activities in her new role as special envoy will be to promote ITU's new 'Tech Needs Girls' campaign throughout the course of 2012, through public appearances at high-profile events held by ITU and others. Ms Davis will speak on the importance of further extending access to technology to women worldwide, will reinforce the importance of positive gender role models, and will highlight the many exciting career opportunities available to young women in the high-tech sector.
"I'm thrilled with this new position because ITU is an incredible organization that wields a lot of clout globally," said Ms Davis. "This role will enable me to take the work I'm doing in the area of gender empowerment to a much bigger scale globally. It's incredibly important to get more women and girls connected to technology, and a big factor in making this happen is going to be ITU's work."
The three-year campaign will raise awareness worldwide of the role information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play in empowering women. Via high-profile ambassadors like Ms Davis and an extensive programme of online multimedia content, major advocacy events around the globe and key partnerships with industry, government, civil society and other UN agencies, the campaign highlights the potential of technology to transform women's lives, whether it be through ICT-based career choices or by improved access to services like e-health, e-education, e-commerce, e-banking and a host of new applications and devices that can help girls and women address their day-to-day challenges.
"I am delighted that Ms Davis will be joining us in our campaign to help expand the opportunities open to women and girls, and redress the current gender imbalance in the ICT industry," said Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General. "The support of committed, high-profile ambassadors like Ms Davis will greatly increase the impact and reach of our message about ICTs and gender empowerment.