[Thailand, May 6, 2023] To mark International Girls in ICT Day 2023, Huawei pledged to actively support the International Telecommunication Union’s “Girls in ICT” initiative. Inspired by the slogan “Digital Skills for Life,” Huawei will offer classes and technology programs to teenage girls and young women in Thailand. Huawei will also redouble its efforts to bring the Internet to isolated communities to improve access to educational and health resources.
According to recent data from ITU, the global proportion of women using the internet amounts to 57 per cent, compared to 62 per cent for men. If women are unable to access the internet or do not feel safe online, they will not be able to develop digital skills and participate in future digital spaces. This would subsequently diminish their opportunities to pursue a career in various STEM fields among others, stifling their ability to realize their full potential. Based in Geneva, the ITU is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for many matters related to information and communication technologies.
In Thailand, the Girls in ICT Day initiative aims to encourage girls and young women to pursue the study of STEM subjects, enhance their level of digital skills, and raise awareness on the meaningful and safe use of ICT. The celebration is organized by the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC), the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES), and the ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific through a series of training programs. Throughout these, Huawei will be an important partner that will organize a variety of activities and training sessions to reduce three core digital gaps.
According to Mr. Woragarn Likhitdechasakdi, CTO of Huawei Thailand Carrier Business Group, the first task is to “close the skill and knowledge gap.” Huawei believes that awareness is the first step when unpacking gender-related factors impacting digital inclusion. To this end, Huawei will offer ICT training classes on topics such as networks, 5G, and cloud, and will offer development sessions, hands-on practice, and an innovation exhibition hall visit. To further promote more girls to step into STEM careers, Huawei will also organize career seminars for passionate students with veterans in the ICT sector as well as internship opportunities if candidates are qualified.
The second task is to “close the digital infrastructure and connectivity gap”. As a technology company, Huawei firmly believes that ICT infrastructure is a vital step to ensure equal access to the internet. Towards this goal, Huawei is working with partners to improve last-mile internet connectivity to reach more households. Huawei has developed a Giga village concept that uses fiber and 5G to comprehensively provide Internet coverage; with this comprehensive solution, some harder-to-connect households in the Giga village get their Wi-Fi from 5G routers. In 2021, Huawei, NBTC, and ITU collaborated on the Giga Thailand infrastructure whitepaper launched at a ceremony themed “Digital Infrastructure Benefits Everyone.” Huawei will keep working in this direction with the aim of enabling the ITU Connect 2030 Agenda.
The third and final task is to “close the application gap.” Internet connectivity cannot bring value to people without good applications. Huawei is now developing remote education solutions and 5G telehealth and telemedicine applications under the Universal Service Obligation project and other initiatives so that public resources can be used anywhere anytime for girls and boys in rural areas. To speed up the adoption of these new services, Huawei will train girls selected from the “Girls in ICT 2023” program at specialized facilities.
Huawei is committed to supporting more girls and young women to understand the benefits of ICT in enabling their careers and aspirations. In the digital era, the engagement and perspectives of women will continue to create more possibilities for all.
In 2022, Huawei announced its collaboration with ITU for an event called “Walk into ICT Industry” to help youths understand the latest technology trends and applications. Over 20 students from all over Thailand visited the Huawei Customer Solution Innovation & Integration Experience Center (CSIC) in Bangkok and received digital skills training from Huawei’s ASEAN Academy.
Similarly, in partnership with Thailand’s National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) and partners, Huawei held the first-ever ‘Women: Thailand Cyber Top Talent 2022’ competition, offering prize money totalling over 200,000 THB ($6000). The contest aimed to raise awareness of cybersecurity and encourage women to become cybersecurity workers.
These efforts are in line with Huawei’s mission of “Grow in Thailand, Contribute to Thailand”, as well as to drive Thailand towards a future digital and intelligent era in which everyone is fully connected.