On April 27, 2023, the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (Office of the NBTC) joined forces with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Ministry of Digital Economy & Society to hold the Girls in ICT Thailand 2023 conference. This gathering aimed to provide young women and girls (ages 12-24) with opportunities to cultivate digital skills in the STEM field. Clinical Professor Dr. Sarana Boonbaichaiyapruck, Chairman of the NBTC, had the distinguished privilege of delivering a special speech and overseeing the opening ceremony of the conference. Moreover, Mr. Notachard Chintakanond, Executive Director of International Affairs Bureau, Office of the NBTC, reported on Girls in ICT Day activities and the role of the NBTC in promoting access to technology for young women at various international forums. The event took place in the elegant Grand Ballroom of the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Bangkok.
Established in 2001, Girls in ICT Day is a global initiative designed to empower young women and girls to develop capabilities in digital and information and communication technology (ICT) professions. Since its inception, over 377,000 girls and young women have participated in Girls in ICT Day celebrations across more than 171 countries, partaking in over 11,400 events globally. The latest ITU data discloses that women constitute 57 percent of internet users, while men make up 62 percent. To enhance digital and ICT competencies for young girls and women, the ITU has persistently promoted and organized Girls in ICT Day events. The theme for Girls in ICT Thailand 2023 is “Digital Skills for Life!”, emphasizing the importance of continuous STEM learning for youth, particularly girls. The goal is to foster their digital skills and heighten their awareness of secure and practical ICT usage. Throughout the year, the Office of the NBTC, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, and ITU will host activities and provide training programs.
Girls in ICT Thailand 2023 boasted a wide range of captivating activities for attendees. One such opportunity involved meeting with the Ambassador of Canada to the Kingdom of Thailand, the Kingdom of Cambodia, and Lao PDR to share personal experiences and insights to motivate the young people and girls present at the conference.
The Office of the NBTC also welcomed two influential figures, Ms. Amanda Chalisa Obdam, Miss Universe Thailand 2020, and Ms. Kanticha Chumma or “Ticha”, the winner of The Face Thailand Season 2. Both inspirational women shared their knowledge, experiences, and insights on harnessing ICT in their respective professions.
Additionally, the conference presented a series of enlightening talks by representatives from partner organizations, such as Ms. Gita Sabharwal from the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Thailand (UNRCO), the Ministry of Education, United Nations (UN), Asia-Pacific Telecommunity, United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and numerous educational institutions. The Girls in ICT Thailand 2023 conference showcased a lively and enriching environment for young women and girls to develop their digital skills and benefit from the wisdom of successful professionals in the STEM and ICT fields.