BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
THE IT Society of Solomon Islands (ITSSI) is committed to supporting initiatives of women passionate in information technology (IT) with interest in advocating ICT literacy to girls and women in Solomon Islands.
As the national IT association in the country strives to group all ICT professionals, ITSSI’s President Mr Marlon Houkarawa said ITSSI is committed to supporting initiatives of women who want to grow IT.
He said the IT Society has specifically included women in ICT advocacy activities within its corporate strategic plan and will ensure support is provided in their future plans.
As part of their strategy, ITSSI held a Girls in ICT conference on Wednesday, April 26, to try and convince primary and secondary school girls to pursue ICT as a career including existing women ICT professionals, Houkarawa said.
He said their aim is not to settle for less but to go higher within ranks of organisations, go further in studies in ICT or to go into entrepreneurship and own ICT businesses or companies.
Houkarawa said Solomon Islands’ ICT is a growing industry with demands and opportunities.
“The demand for such benefits has therefore created need for competition in telecommunication and ICT literacy that we have now experienced increase in ICT accessibility and affordability in the past years,” he said.
Houkarawa said there are opportunities for utilising ICT solutions for e-services that can reach all groups of society in Solomon Islands, including disadvantaged groups and users in remote areas.
Using ICT solution for e-service would transform the landscape for development, he adds.
Meanwhile, Mr Houkarawa said ICT development in Solomon Islands requires collective effort from government, diplomatic partners, private sector, other important stakeholders, and those within ICT community.
“Engaging males alone is not enough – we need more females in the ICT community to provide a massive base for inclusive ICT growth and development,” Houkarawa said.
Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Aviation and Communication, Mr Moses Virivolomo agrees that ICT is an essential tool for social and economic development for women and girls.
He said investing in women will accelerate broadband and ICT provision to women and girls and will contribute in promoting gender equality, empowerment and social and economic development for men and women.
“Information and communication technologies can provide women and girls an education and job training, promote literacy and improve access to health, enable exercise of legal rights and participation in government,” Virivolomo said.