“IT Girls and European Youth Award”, a three-day “Impact Weekend” has started
IT Girls inspires young girls to develop a passion for digital technologies, acquire digital and 21st-century skills, and influence and promote gender equality in the ICT industry, government, and among educators
The “IT Girls and European Youth Award”, a three-day “Impact Weekend”, has started at the UN House in Sarajevo, bringing together more than twenty renowned international and regional experts from all over Europe who will share their experiences in interactive workshops and meet sixty young participants. Through interactive workshops, young people will have the chance to transform their ideas for digital products or services into concepts, benefit from knowledge transfer and learn how to better impact society through a three-day Impact Weekend.
“I believe that women are at the heart of the digital transformation of this country, which will offer an opportunity to lower some of the barriers women have been facing in schools and in the workplace – therefore girls need to have opportunity to access IT skills from a young age through schools. "IT Girls" is a pioneer initiative in Bosnia and Herzegovina that inspires young girls to develop a passion for digital technologies, acquire digital and 21st-century skills, and influence and promote gender equality in the ICT industry, government, and among educators. The future of Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in the hands of both women and men equally. And to see equality, we first need to empower women to engage in the ICT”, said UNICEF Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina Ms Rownak Khan.
"Only 30% of IT engineers in the world are women and the teams that change that. We can all agree that gender equality is not only good, but it is also necessary. I am hopeful that UNICEF will continue to be successful in its approach to upgrading the IT extra curriculum and its formal adoption as well. It is also very important to connect schools and IT-related teachers with private sector leaders. The overall goal should remain to enhance girls 'and boys' confidence, to take on new challenges and transform negative attitudes toward risk-taking and competition.” said H.E. Swedish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Johanna Stromquist, and added: "You inspire me, and you can inspire other girls to follow in your footsteps. I hope you will also inspire decision-makers to provide these opportunities to many more girls and boys."
Adnana Hujdur, Hanna Tiro and Harisa Obradović are IT Girls from Mostar. “It all started when we started at the Faculty of Information Technology in Mostar and won second place for our idea. Then IT girls noticed us. Our idea was too broad, but in cooperation with IT girls, we came up with a solution, or the idea of developing apps for parents who monitor their children's health, with a focus on children suffering from chronic diseases." said Adnana. When asked what support for IT Girls means to them, Hanna said: “To break ground in developing our ideas and coming up with ideas on how to best help our communities. IT Girls also gave us a wonderful experience that enriched us - going to Hackathon in Novi Sad. Since then, we have taken every opportunity to work with them. We have support in every sense, they constantly contact us and offer help, but also provide customer information." Future for IT Girls from Mostar was shared by Harisa: "We want to find partners who will work with us, help us to realize our ideas until the end, but also not finish everything on the fact that this will be just an application. We want to launch a Start-up. "
Milica Papak and Danica Kunić from Drvar came with the expectation to expand their team and find someone to work with. “IT Girls first came to Drvar in 2015 when they organized trainings during which we were learning how to create websites. Until then, our only encounter with programming was sporadically in computer science classes, and it was because of the goodwill of our teachers to direct us, not because it was part of the curriculum," said Milica. The two of them developed the idea that there is no difference between a purchased and a domesticated animal: “Last year at Technomašta we were among the winners with this idea, and now we are upgrading and developing it. It is a Pet Book application, that is, a type of social network that will help reduce the number of animals in the centres and get as many animals as possible adopted instead of buying them." said Danica.
"I heard about this event through social networks and decided to come. This is my first meeting with IT Girls, I am a former student of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Pale and I came with no idea, because I want to find a team that can help develop my idea, but also to learn something new and expand my knowledge," said Željana Nešković from Pale.
The IT Girls is a joint initiative of UNICEF, UNDP and UN Women, which addresses some of the barriers girls and women have been facing in the ICT sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
European Youth Award is a unique European-wide movement of young innovators who never stop learning, questioning and improving the world we live in. EYA believes the power digital technologies can create a positive impact on society! Several activities and events are organized throughout the year and can be found all over Europe