By Ana Gabriel, Gender and Data Policy Lead

Data allows us to understand the state of emergency we find ourselves in regarding the full enjoyment of women’s rights, serving as evidence that enables us to create the necessary public policies and actions to prevent and eradicate any violation of our rights. For example, in Latin America and the Caribbean, a woman dies due to gender reasons every two hours. Between 60% and 76% of women and girls in our region have been victims or have experienced some form of gender-based violence in various aspects of their lives. The state of emergency of violence against women and girls is evident: in Latin America and the Caribbean are located 14 out of the 25 countries with the highest number of femicides/feminicides in the world.

In the context of March 8th, from ILDA, we want to share a series of reflections that have resulted from collective intelligence generated in various spaces and contexts where we have been able to devise and act from the intersection of data and gender. Recognizing that the value, use, and impact of data occur when we place people at the center, and in this case, women.

We focus these feminist data reflections on four key areas:

No more data about us, without us: From this approach, we propose two perspectives, the importance of advancing towards data standardization with a gender perspective, and the recognition of data generated by activists, community, and feminist organizations.

Regarding standardization, we propose the need to move towards desirable minimums that allow us to clearly define the ethical and technical parameters when states and even civil society organizations collect and use data about women. This allows us to have clear bases for our work and to negotiate with the various state entities that collect and use data about women’s lives, rights, and realities.

On the other hand, we advocate for the recognition of citizen and feminist data, which is generated on a daily basis by activists, organizations, academics, and journalists with the intention of making their realities visible and also activating strategies to address women’s needs. This data is as valuable as official data because it places at the center the stories that must be told, from the direct experiences of women, data that, in complement with governmental data, can provide more comprehensive and innovative solutions to the problems affecting women.

Data as a meeting point between ecosystems: Creating communities of practice is one of ILDA’s priorities, allowing for the exchange of knowledge, strategies, and joint construction of actions for the use and impact of data. And concerning our work with feminist organizations, activists, and academics, community work and meeting between ecosystems have been no exception.

We have a very valuable experience in ILDA; the process of creating a standard against femicides in which we managed to articulate data experts, academics, gender specialists, civic technology specialists, and governmental institutions to design a proposal that would allow us to advance towards those desirable minimums mentioned earlier when addressing such a complex issue involving various governmental, police, and judicial entities, seeking to safeguard a process in which data is decisive in the prevention, attention, and processing of these cases.

Feminist evidence-based advocacy: Another of our bets has to do with enhancing the use of data in global, regional, national, and local advocacy spaces. In our joint work with various feminist organizations and primarily with the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network, we have enhanced the value of feminist data as evidence for strategic advocacy.

Data allows us to understand our contexts, visualizes the realities and intersectionalities that affect women, and in this way, we can identify where we should articulate and direct our efforts to demand more financing, policies, and regulations that safeguard the rights and meet the needs of all women, especially those most excluded by the patriarchal system.

Within the framework of ABRELATAM, the relevance of these meeting spaces between data experts and feminists was evidenced to design strategies that allow us to identify actors and spaces of influence where data can provoke a distinctive action.

More feminist transparency for better public policies: At ILDA, we are committed to using data to drive the transformations our democracies need to be more solid and inclusive. That is why we are committed to promoting feminist transparency that allows us to know the financing, progress, and compliance of public policies aimed at ensuring the guarantee and respect of women’s rights.

From our experience, as co-leaders of data for Latin America within the Feminist Accountability Framework, we identify the enormous challenge of the states in our region to have clear, accessible, and disaggregated data that allow us to monitor and design solutions to the main challenges and exclusions faced by women, mainly in topics associated with the Generation Equality process. For example, in the case of Guatemala, despite the fact that most of the commitments made in the Technology and Innovation Coalition Action represent 75% of the commitments with assured financing, there is no disaggregated information to determine what percentage was invested in the country or through which public institutions these funds were executed.

Therefore, it is necessary to resume meeting spaces between public institutions, civil society, academia, and other actors who jointly design the most appropriate mechanisms to collect, analyze, and open data with a gender perspective, which are the basis for the co-creation of solutions and public policies that place women at the center.

Every March 8th, we remember the challenges we have ahead and the gender gaps that affect us daily. That is why in this context and based on these reflections, in 2024, we will promote a series of Feminist Data Dialogues, which will allow us to collectively create a proposal of principles or desirable minimums that allow us to advance towards quality data, about us and with us.

The first of these dialogues will take place on March 21st, stay tuned to our networks so you can join and be part of this collective reflection.