Girls Need to Be Creators in the Digital World

International Girls in ICT Day Marked

April 28, 2023
UNDP Serbia

Belgrade, 28 April 2023 – On the occasion of the International Girls in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Day, United Nations Development Programme, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and in cooperation with the Petlja Foundation, organised educational workshops and lectures for female students of high schools and universities.

The aim of this daily programme, which was held on the premises of the Makers Space of the Centre for the Promotion of Science, was to stimulate girls and young women to explore different opportunities offered by information and communications technology and acquire new digital skills in order to continue with their education and further develop their careers in ICT.

"This is just one of many opportunities to remind us of the importance of strengthening girls and young women to engage with and participate in ICT, since information technologies are a part of our lives, as you are very well aware of. Even children in kindergarten use information technologies today. Younger generations possess more digital literacy than their elders, and we therefore work simultaneously on the development of your digital competences, but also on those of your teachers. According to statistics, Serbia is a country with a significantly larger representation of women and girls, not only in ICT, but also in other areas of STEM, when compared to the global average but also the European average, which is good, but does not mean that we do not have to continue with our efforts and further support women and girls in joining these fields," said Assistant to the Minister of Education for International Cooperation and European Integrations, Aleksandar Jović.

"Due to the swift technological development, we witness the birth of many new professions that did not exist just ten or twenty years ago, yet they are in great demand today. Digital skills are necessary for everyone, regardless of their future professions. We therefore wish to motivate and support as many girls as possible to acquire new skills in ICT, which would help them in their further education, as well as in selecting their future professions and advancing their careers," said Jelena Ružičić, UNDP Portfolio Manager for Digital Innovations.

Around 20 girls attending the Ninth Grammar School "Mihailo Petrović Alas", Sixth Belgrade Grammar School and IT Grammar School had the opportunity to attend the workshop titled "Creative Coding: When Technology Draws", facilitated by Aleksandra Jovanić, assistant professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, and on this occasion become aware of the connections between algorithms and art, as well as encode their own works of digital art. Also, 25 young women studying faculties of natural sciences and mathematics, social sciences and humanities and technical and technological sciences, attended the lecture by Srđan Verbić, professor at the FEFA Faculty, entitled "Visual Disentanglement of Data", thereby learning more about the ways in which data are used in decision-making in today’s society, as well as why the manner in which data are presented is highly important for their understanding.

The International Girls in ICT Day is marked each fourth Thursday in April, and this year’s slogan has been "Digital Skills for Life". The message conveyed by the slogan is that girls and women need new skills to become not only users, but also creators in the digital world.

The event was organised within the project entitled "Building Key Computer Competences – Towards the Workforce of the Future", implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Education, and with the support by the Government of the Republic of Serbia.  

UNDP Serbia