IGF 2021 WS #109
Gender Data Justice: Building a Community

Organizer 1: Laura Schwartz-Henderson, Internews
Organizer 2: Joana Varon, Coding Rights
Organizer 3: Eliana Quiroz, Fundación Internet Bolvia.org

Speaker 1: Laura Schwartz-Henderson, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Joana Varon, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Eliana Quiroz, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Laura Schwartz-Henderson, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Eliana Quiroz, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Laura Schwartz-Henderson, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Birds of a Feather - Classroom - 30 Min

Policy Question(s)

Digital policy and human rights frameworks: What is the relationship between digital policy and development and the established international frameworks for civil and political rights as set out in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and further interpretation of these in the online context provided by various resolutions of the Human Rights Council? How do policy makers and other stakeholders effectively connect these global instruments and interpretations to national contexts? What is the role of different local, national, regional and international stakeholders in achieving digital inclusion that meets the requirements of users in all communities?
Promoting equitable development and preventing harm: How can we make use of digital technologies to promote more equitable and peaceful societies that are inclusive, resilient and sustainable? How can we make sure that digital technologies are not developed and used for harmful purposes? What values and norms should guide the development and use of technologies to enable this?

Our goal is to bring together experts working on integrating data feminism into advocacy, policymaking, and technology design. We will discuss the unique harms women face and ways in which feminist frameworks can be used to more comprehensively advocate for women-specific protections included as part of comprehensive data protection laws and to bring new perspectives to data privacy issues.


5. Gender Equality

Targets: This session focuses exclusively on highlighting the disparate impact of techologies on women around the world and the need for a gender-empowering and equality-oriented framework to build and enforce data protection policies and build human-rights respecting privacy norms.


Data protection laws and policies are by their very nature designed to address the structural inequalities and power differentials inherent to the data collector/processor and data subject relationship. These structural inequalities replicate and exacerbate existing power imbalances, putting women and marginalized individuals at higher risk of exploitative, harmful and discriminatory uses of data. Feminist theories and frameworks, however, also offer opportunities to engage with data protection and online privacy issues in new ways and to encourage the involvement of communities largely overlooked and excluded from digital policy debates. There is an emerging group of activists, researchers, lawyers, and technologists working on addressing issues around data protection, data sovereignty, and consent from a feminist perspective, reviewing potential data harms that inordinately impact women and using feminist theories to more comprehensively integrate protective and corrective approaches focused on women within proposed data protection legislation and regulation.
This panel seeks to bring together some of these data feminists from countries around the world to discuss their work and ways in which the data feminist community can better collaborate across borders.

Expected Outcomes

Build a community of practice and theory, along with follow up events focused on data gender justice.

We are eager to hear from participants about both the challenges and opportunities womens' rights policy advocates face in conducting advocacy around these issues and pushing for more protective policies in their own countries. Alongside the panel, we will be building a collaborative working space to exchange ideas, approaches, and resources. We are also developing a podcast episode focused on women and data protection and would like to highlight the stories of womens rights data justice advocates from around the world.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool.