Data Feminism(s): Troubling data and power in our backyard and elsewhere


The present pandemic is highlighting how gender and racial disparities in labor and health impacts one’s exposure and susceptibility to COVID. Now, we’re furiously collecting as much data as possible. But once we have this data, what becomes of it? Disaggregating data and ensuring representative samples are important statistical practices, but what material results do these data encourage in individuals’ lived experiences? We can look beyond COVID into global development work as well. Technologies after technologies have been deployed to better women’s health, but inequities remain, illustrating that problems lie in social systems as well as technical ones. Our interdisciplinary team aims to dissect how research questions, data tools, and data collection can reinforce and even exacerbate inequitable situations. Using feminist, decolonial, and critical theory, we also explore best practices, new ways of data collection, new strategies for sharing results with research participants and partners, and methods to practice reflexivity.