Visualizing an Afrofeminist Tech 

August 9th, 2023

The Journey Before and Ahead: Visualizing My Data Rights open knowledge approach to gender justice issues

In an era where technology plays an increasingly significant role in shaping society, it is crucial to examine the intersection of feminism, data justice, and digital technologies. In June I ran engagement series, titled “Visualizing Afrofeminist Tech,” on the work we have done since we began. Through this series on X former Twitter, I explored the past, present, and future of advocating for data and digital technologies from a feminist perspective in Africa.

I delved into the realms of Afrofeminism, feminist tech principles, data justice, and social justice in Africa. For us, at My Data Rights research serves as a powerful tool for effecting change. In the pursuit of gender justice in Africa, it plays a vital role in understanding the nuances of existing inequalities. It helps in identifying biases within data systems, and informing evidence-based policies,  practices and advocacy.

The series included an examination of the existing body of work that we have done. The work documents and examines the state of technology, feminism, privacy and data technologies. It has been done with and in collaboration with feminists and feminist movements in Africa. The engagement series provided an opportunity to highlight our groundbreaking series of research and impactful work advocating for Afrofeminist Tech since the inception of the project. 

Exploring the three pieces of work the first being a research covering Feminist readings to the right to privacy and data protection  which sort to answer the question what would a gender-responsive data protection and privacy law entail to ensure gender safeguards against AI gendered harms?and through our investigation we realized that gender responsiveness requires the  design and implementation of policies through policy regulation, research and documentation, public awareness and responsibility from the technical community to ensure that injustices are not replicated as we race towards digital development.

The first research shaped up our methodological framework through the Assessment  AI, privacy data protection through a feminist lens  which articulated a feminist lens helping to unpack the spectrum of issues and opportunities from technology in a context of gender inequality, the lens draws from data feminism, intersectionality, data justice and feminist principles of the internet allowing one to ask questions of who is being represented and by whom; whose interests are being centered; why this discussion is important and how it is taking place, which allows for criticism of power and how data itself can be used to ensure justice in society. 

Finally Imagining resistance to data processing with African feminists a research we carried out  to respond to the current discourse on data by collaborating with African feminists to imagine resistance to data with focus on community of people that engage with forms of gendered inequality each day this community formed of women, LGBTQIA people and non-binary people concluding that imagining resistance begins with collective action through using the power of a network to build social movements, as well as participate in the shaping of the public space online and the policies that govern the internet. This narrative series all ties up into the now  Afrofeminist data futures  work which shifts and redefines power to design Governance of data from a Afrofeminist perspective.

The “Visualizing Afrofeminist Tech” engagement series was an interactive narrative experience with cool guiding visuals for  our target audience (Social Justice Activists,  Feminist Activists, Tech and Data Enthusiasts etc), engage with My Data Rights work. We hope that this fosters a deeper understanding of Afrofeminist Tech, data justice, and gender equality in Africa. For us to further envision a future where digital technologies are designed, developed, and deployed with a feminist lens. That we may also see dismantling barriers and promoting social justice for all. 
Interact with  the series on our Twitter and also engage with our work at My Data Rights