Technology & Data in service to gender politics
Initial talking point/question
- How a technology and/or data and/or datajournalism project could impactfully help social justice challenges in the field of gender politics?
Projects around "percentages-of-women" (in board rooms, in media, in conference speaker line-ups) in various contexts are getting every day more popular. Good, but – there's so much more and time to raise some other issues as well (read: society is much more intersectional than that).
- How about going beyond gender binary (considering that genders are not only two)?
- How about disparities and difference of privilege even just among women-identified individuals (white women/ women of color, cisgender women / trans women)?
- How about getting some voices way more heard (e.g. trans narrative)? How about responsible data in all this (huge issue, connected to both privacy and safety)?
Let's get a discussion going, especially if anyone actively works on any of these topics, to discuss, learn and understand how data and/or tech could really be useful to raise an issue/conduct a research/help fuel an action-for-change. Aiming to have impact.
Discussion kick-off: points raised
There is a lot of technology being built but it is constantly being pushed into communities instead there should be a pull. There is a strong cultural background in different communities and we must think about it in regards to technology. For Example:
- In Japan there is a lot of groping and there is this website that allows people to note instances of harassment via geolocation mapping
- In Egypt there was a lot a project called HarassMap where they used Ushahidi's tools to track instances of sexual harassment.
We must recognize how we use tools are not in a vacuum, but to always ask those questions about how they are used and who it is for?
Data can often be very dangerous and interpreted wrong- communities should often be connected with the data sets you are working with. It is better to have something grow organically instead of throwing a product into a community.
- After an initial discussion, the group decided to start brainstorming key elements to be considered when creating responsible data projects aiming to support marginalized communities/ minorities (including abuse reporting).
- Participants wrote down all sorts of thoughts on post-its, we identified that certain clusters were emerging and started to put them together.
- Participants highlighted a key factor of the session: all participants were aware of at least some challenges of the topic we were trying to flesh out. So why not using the clusters identified to feed the creation of a toolkit, to be shared with others (especially with individuals and groups who might have not encountered this challenges in their work yet).
- Goal: co-create a useful guideline for whoever works with tech/data projects serving specific communities, using tech and data responsibly and ethically.
- Identified clusters [please note that the following notes record the work done in the session but not yet represent a post-session re-work of the material. That will come soon!]:
- Needs to be grounded in a locally identified need
- First understand the problems before jumping into it.
- Identify the voices that need to be heard
- Partnering with community already doing the work
- Self-Awareness of your identities and how they relate to the issue at hand
- Working with certain communities to build the data and think about their access
- Include community partners throughout the whole process
- Data Security
- Thinking about the Data and where it is coming from
- Data is not god
- Validating and Verification of Data
- Data Ownership
- Start with clearly defining what problem you are trying to solve
- Working with organizations on the ground- being aware of your privilege
- Asking and listening
- Who are you speaking to? How do we want them to engage?
- History Lesson
- Self-awareness of the history of your identities in relation to the users you’re targeting
- Broaden the idea of what “tech” can be (ie “low-tech” solutions where applicable)
- imagining what success looks like – have a theory of change
- make the final project useful and meaningful to community
- engaging allies
- Accessibility for who benefits
- Has there already been legacy projects for what you are working on ?
- Defining what success looks like
- Who created the technology?
- Who is maintaining it?
- Be flexible enough to change the project design to reflect community needs and goals
- Success stories
- Providing resources/training if needed so communities have the access to building their own tools
- empowering marginalized people
- how can capacity be left behind when the project is over
- Intersectional analysis/frame
- being aware of the different cultural backgrounds/narratives
- needs to account for context/culture and access
- Diversity is more than one thing (not just gender, race)
- centering experiences of marginalized folks esp trans women of color
- cultural differences in gender politics
New Session Title
Responsible Data Storytelling
The group aims to keep working on the toolkit.