CICC, NCWP to empower women in ICT via 'Gawad Hiraya'

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

March 8, 2024, 4:39 pm

<p><em>(Image courtesy of CICC)</em></p>

(Image courtesy of CICC)

MANILA – Two government agencies on Friday signed an agreement to launch ‘Gawad Hiraya’ —an awards program to honor women in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector— and offer free ICT courses to women.

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed between the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) and the National Council of Women of the Philippines (NCWP) at the National Cybercrime Hub in Taguig City.

In a press conference, CICC Executive Director, Undersecretary Alexander Ramos, said the agreement covers two objectives --the institution of Gawad Hiraya as an annual accolade to honor exemplary women in the field of ICT and to provide training opportunities to women in the Philippines through the help of the NCWP.

Nominations for the awards are now open, with the deadline set on March 19.

The selection committee for Gawad Hiraya is led by retired justice Andres Reyes.

On the other hand, he said three courses are now offered for free --social media analytics, digital forensics and data privacy.

“Today, with this memorandum of agreement, we'll seal that effort that we have planned for so long. Among the courses, which are the first --not only in the country, in the region, but the world– is that we are offering signature courses for women,” Ramos said.

Initially, he said these courses will be offered to women in the government and will be held quarterly at the National Cybercrime Hub.

Under the MOA, the CICC is tasked with creating cyber analyst courses under a learning management system, curating these courses specifically for NCWP members and women in the Philippines, developing a credible certification system, and building a website to validate their certification.

On the other hand, the NCWP is tasked with promoting secure digitalization in its relevant sectors, onboarding its members to participate in the cyber analyst certification courses, monitoring and promoting learners under the cyber analyst program, and recommending to the CICC commendable women in the field of ICT for Gawad Hiraya.

The United Nations’ (UN) theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress” which called for the achievement of the UN’s sustainable development goal 5 on achieving gender equality and women empowerment by 2030.

According to the ‘Women in Cybersecurity’ 2022 report released last year, women held 25 percent of cybersecurity jobs globally in 2022, an increase from 20 percent in 2019 and 10 percent back in 2013. (PNA)