On April 28, in honor of the International Day of “Girls in Information and Communication Technologies”, the organization “Women in Digital Transformation”, “Initiatives of R. Otunbayeva” and the Kyrgyz Internet Society held an online discussion on the topic “Girls in ICT”. International and local experts, as well as successful women, shared their experience and opportunities in technology for girls. The main speaker of the online discussion was the ex-President of the Kyrgyz Republic Roza Isakovna Otunbayeva. In her speech, she shared that the potential of girls in technology is limitless:
“I am delighted that for the first time at the national level, an online session is being held in honor of Girls in ICT Day. Our foundation has been promoting the initiative to involve girls in digital technologies since 2013. As part of our STEAM training project, we have educated 193 specialists and trained more than 2,000 schoolgirls in Bishkek and Osh. We are supported by several donor organizations and institutions. Our goal, like yours, is to expand opportunities for girls in technology. Let’s work together to achieve common goals, because without technological knowledge we will not be able to conquer the 21st century,” shared the ex-president, Roza Otunbayeva.
MP Elvira Surabaldiyeva also noted that teaching girls about information technology is very important because it represents the interests of women in parliament. The next speaker was the Minister of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic A. Beishenaliev. “As the primary source of information and technology education for children, we are now prioritizing science (STEM) teachers. According to a recent presidential decree, the salary of science teachers has been increased by 20% compared to other teachers.”
The next speaker of the online discussion was the Director of the State Agency for the Protection of Personal Data under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic – Nuria Kutnaeva. In her speech, she noted that we should all promote the idea of IT, digitalization and help develop in this direction. Also, Nuria Kutnaeva shared a mentoring program where girls were trained in the necessary digital skills, digital security and IT career guidance. In addition to officials, the online discussion titled “Technological Opportunities for Girls” brought together several international and local experts.
During the online discussion, Natalia Mochu, ITU Regional Director for the CIS region, and Ekaterina Gromova, founder of the Women’s Digital Transformation Organization, spoke about international experience in the framework of ICT “Tashkent-Bishkek Girls” in the CIS.
Local Experts: Shaina Cram, Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy; Shirin Aitmatova, Vice-President of the International Aitmatov Foundation and ex-deputy of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic; Gulnaz Kordanova, founder of Teach for Kazakhstan and Connect-Ed.kz (Kazakhstan); Elena Selezneva, Startup Accelerator, founder of Tech4Impact (Uzbekistan); Jamal Frontbek kyzy, head of the public organization “Mutakalim”; Banur Abdiyeva, DigiKonush project coordinator; Aizada Kalkanbekova, director of the Public Radio “Suusamyr FM”, editor-in-chief of kyrgyzmedia.kg; Aidana Omurbayeva, IT Influencer and DevOps Engineer, Relativity LLC; Aiperi Nogoibaeva, Deputy Director of the Kyrgyz Association of Software and Services Developers; Aiperi Bozoeva, expert of the Digital Hygiene project; Sapargul Abdinabiyeva, media expert of the Sanarip Insan project, as well as the coordinator of the Village Girl project – Aidai Amankulova, the head of the first space program of Kyrgyzstan Kyzzhibek Batyrkanova, shared their experience on the opportunities of ICT for women and girls in Central Asia.
At the end of the event, the co-founder of the Kyrgyz Internet Society, Aziz Soltobaev, concluded: “Today we realized that together we can achieve great results and demonstrate the power of girls not only in ICT, but in science in general.”
Chairman of the Kyrgyz Internet Society, Talant Sultanov thanked all the participants and encouraged the girls to receive information technology education. The purpose of the online discussion “Central Asian Girls in ICT” was to inspire girls from remote rural areas to study and receive technological education.
The initial broadcast took place on the Zoom platform, and was also broadcast live on the official social pages on YouTube and Facebook. From all over the country connected: via Zoom – 100 people; 162 people watched the live broadcast via Facebook; through YouTube – 145 people. After inspiring discussions, a small online competition was organized for the girls. The participants were asked questions in the field of information technology, the winners were awarded certificates for IT courses, free consultations from IT professionals and gifts such as books and notebooks.