Afro-feminist Perspectives on Data Governance 

ICTANet Thought Leadership Series

Date: November 27, 2023 | Time: 1400–1530 hours

Venue: Virtual via Zoom 


KICTANet together with the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) and Internews are hosting a virtual session on Afro-feminist perspectives on data governance scheduled for November 27, 2023, from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm via Zoom.

Background and Context

Africa has come a long way in terms of enacting data protection laws. To date, 36 out of 55 Countries in Africa have data protection laws.

Women and other structurally marginalized genders still face harsh online environments, excluding them from political, social, and economic participation. Their participation is met with challenges that manifest in forms of data rights violations and discrimination, such as lack of agency and control over their data, lack of consent in unequal power dynamic contexts, loss of privacy, discrimination, online gender-based violence targeting women, and bias that is compounded when age, class, and gender intersect. 

Europe, through the enactment of the General Data Protection laws, has set global international standards for data protection, which have been mirrored across the globe and Africa. Although these standards are expected to provide all protection of rights about data, their implementation across different regions varies along the lines of societal elements, existing national laws and institutional frameworks. 

Data protection and privacy are often perceived as commercial issues, yet women and gender minorities are disproportionately affected by privacy breaches, both online and offline. We call for a feminist approach to data protection and privacy.


  • Participants will learn about the gender biases that exist in how data protection and privacy are governed.
  • Participants will learn about the repercussions of having data protection regimes that reinforce misogyny and bias against women and gender minorities.
  • Participants will learn about gender-responsive data protection and privacy.
  • Participants will find out more about the recommendations contained in KICTANet’s policy brief on data protection and privacy from a gender perspective.


  • This session will feed into regional discussions on online safety and data protection, drawing lessons learned in implementing data protection frameworks in Africa. The report from this session will be used to advocate for policy alternatives and amendments,  as improvements to fill the gaps released during the implementation of policy frameworks, and as part of data governance work. 


Time Session title  Description and format Session Lead/presenters/moderators
2:00 pm – 2:15 pm Panel introductions A brief background of the 3 organizations  and why we decided to collaborate on the issue of data protection CIPESA, KICTANet, Internews
2:15 pm –

2: 25 pm

Presentation of the KICTANet’s report Sharing the main findings of their groundbreaking research Cheryl, Linda
2:25 pm –

2:30 pm

Audience reactions Open the floor to questions/comments GG
2:30 pm –

2:45 pm

Data Justice Advancing Data Justice in Africa Ashnah Kalemera, CIPESA
2:45 pm

3:00 pm

Break out group activity:
Data protection laws in Africa. Representatives from at least 20 of the 55 countries with data protection laws in Africa 
Break out room1: gender biases that exist in how data protection and privacy are governed

Break out group 2: repercussions of having data protection regimes that reinforce misogyny and bias against women and gender minorities 

Break out group3: gender-responsive data protection and privacy.

Helen, Cheryl, Linda (1 in each group?)
3:00 pm – 

3:20 pm

Summary and closure Next steps CIPESA, KICTANet, Internews



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