From where I stand: “Changing the present, we are also changing the future”

Lamija Gutić is only 16 years old, and on her way to building technology solutions for a better world. An inspiration for many girls and women across the region, on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, she talks about what the SDGs mean for her.


Lamija Gutić sits at her computer . Photo: Imrana Kapetanovic
Lamija Gutić . Photo: Imrana Kapetanovic

"I will be 29 years old in 2030—the deadline to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I see the SDGs as a way to measure my own progress and the progress of my country, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

My personal favorite is Goal 4—on Quality Education—but I don’t think others are less important; every goal is significant in the change they promise. I believe that the right to literacy is a fundamental human right. I want that every child in my country and the world has access and equal opportunities to education.

In my country, we don’t give enough credit to women in technology and science, and we rarely challenge stereotypes when it comes to women and ICTs. Unfortunately, some still believe that certain jobs are exclusive to men or women.

All over the world, stereotypes are present everywhere, and it is necessary to empower young people to combat them. Gender equality is about equal opportunities, because men aren’t smarter than women, and vice versa.

For me, ICT is a world full of opportunities in which anyone can find their place, regardless of affinities, abilities and gender.

I do not like to talk so much about the future, because the present is the most important. Changing the present, we are also changing the future.

One person cannot change the entire world alone, but we can influence the people around us, our friends, family and peers. I believe that my peers and I will be the game-changers and we will make the world a better place by 2030.”

SDG 4: Quality education
SDG 5: Gender equality

Lamija Gutić, from Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, dreams of a career in ICT, developing solutions that will improve the lives of people around the world. Gutić, now 16 years old, entered the world of coding in 2016, through IT Girls, a UN Women-supported joint UN initiative. She has attended several coding camps since then, and learned how to create websites and applications. Her story is related to Sustainable Development Goal 4, which calls for inclusive and equitable quality education for all, and SDG 5 on gender equality and its target on enhancing the use of information and communications technology to promote the empowerment of women and girls.

Read more stories in the “From where I stand...” editorial series.