Background Paper


In an attempt to examine the various perspective of the digital paradigm and evolve a new vision of feminist digital justice, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) and IT for Change convened a Working Group on Feminist Digital Justice in August 2021.

Through periodic meetings, the Working Group reflected on two central questions:

a) How can we halt data extractivism and reclaim the emancipatory promise of digital and data technologies for the gender justice agenda?

b) What is the vision of feminist digital justice that we seek to outline?

The insights from these discussions were synthesized by DAWN and IT for Change teams into two outputs — this background paper, mapping critical considerations for gender justice in the digital paradigm, and The Declaration of Feminist Digital Justice.

This background paper takes stock of the dominant digital paradigm from a critical feminist perspective, teasing out various dimensions of gender injustice in the institutional order of data capitalism: bodies and social relationality becoming fodder for data capitalism; gendered labor exploitation and exclusions in platform-controlled value chains; gender bias and discrimination in frontier tech development; ecological crisis; and gendered exclusions from the digital welfare state. Against this backdrop, it envisions new horizons for feminist political organizing and offers the following specific proposals:

  • Take back the public internet agora from privatized platforms
  • Respond to women’s human rights violations in all spheres of datafied sociality
  • Always adopt an intersectional approach
  • Appropriate the internet and frontier technologies for feminist economies
  • Decolonize data governance debates
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