Gender Equality: Can Big Data be the hero we deserve?
Big Data has recently surfaced as a hero within the field of gender equality and we’d like to lift up the organizations that have made this possible. Through several different initiatives, new forms of data collection have allowed governments and institutions to make more educated and informed decisions. Want to learn more? Keep reading!
Putting data collection in the hands of women and girls
Girl Effect has come up with a marvelous way to battle the lack of available data. It is called TEGA, or Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors, and allows women and girls to collect data first-hand through mobile devices. The source of this solution comes from the fact that there is a lack of available accurate and relevant data. In many developing countries, almost all data collection goes via the man of the household. This leads to a significant gap in knowledge, hindering governments from implementing proper initiatives.
So what TEGA does is bridge this gap. By putting their ambassadors through a three-month training course, they become experts in the field of quantitative and qualitative surveying. As a result, data related to the life of women and girls become available, allowing for policies and decisions to be rooted in truth. As an added bonus, this research method also acts as a source of education for these women.
Using alternative forms of data to fill in the gaps
Another prominent actor within this field is Data2X. One of their projects focused on filling the data gap pertaining to women in remote and unsurveyed areas. Their solution to this problem was to use geospatial data to infer conclusions related to social and health data. One of the results of this project was that they were able to understand much more about the literacy of women in Kenya. How? By correlating the distances, proximities to roads and elevations separating women from schools.
If you find this interesting, you should check out how Big Data is providing education in Uganda.
Identifying global concerns of women using Twitter
Finally, another project by Data2X, used Twitter to identify emotions and opinions expressed by women across the globe. They did this by primarily separating male and female users using name and face recognition tools. Subsequently, they aggregated the female tweets to discover trends, in an attempt to understand the needs of women.
To read more about these Data2X projects, visit their report Big Data and the Well-Being of Women and Girls.
While there is a still a lot of work to be done on the road towards gender equality, we think it is important to highlight the developments that are being made. So if you have any organizations that you’d like to give a shout-out to, please leave us a comment! Otherwise, until next time.
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