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'Thelma & Louise,' 'Beetlejuice' star Geena Davis wins major telecom award

Actress Geena Davis, President of Argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Huawei Chairman Sun Yafang have been named winners of the 2012 ITU World Telecommunication and Information Society Award for their efforts promoting information and communications technology (ICT) to empower women and girls.

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The three women are being recognized in keeping with the theme of today's ITU World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

"This year's theme, 'Women and Girls in ICT' aims to ensure that there is equal opportunity for all and that women and girls can play a greater role within the ICT sector," ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré said in a statement. "We are determined to work with partners across all sectors of society to promote the full potential of ICTs for the benefit of women and girls. The ability of technology to empower women and girls in communities around the world is still largely untapped."

Under Argentina President Fernández's leadership, the country's National Telecommunication Plan has taken steps to better connect citizens. Huawei's Sun, chairman since 1999, has taken the company from a small local business to a global provider now facing off with the likes of Cisco and Juniper Networks around the world. She is actively involved in a variety of corporate responsibility programs as well as philanthropic activities and is an active member of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development. The Academy Award-winning Davis is founder of the nonprofit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate and influence the need for gender balance, reducing stereotyping and creating a wide variety of female characters for entertainment targeting children 11 and under. Davis is ITU's special envoy for women and girls in the field of information and communication technology.

Past winners of the award have included the president of Finland, Mozilla Corp., and Internet pioneer Robert Kahn.

Bob Brown tracks network research in his Alpha Doggs blog and Facebook page, as well on Twitter and Google +.

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