GeDIA is a network of women change-makers united in a common aim: More gender-just digital future in Africa.
Gender Equality is a Sustainable Development Goal in itself (SDG 5) and also has been shown to have significant secondary effects on the achievement of other development goals. Thus, women and men stand to gain from more gender-equal societies, yet in the areas of digital innovation, digital literacy and information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) gender equality is often an afterthought. Women are frequently framed as "hard-to-reach", relatively passive participants who need special encouragement to be included.
GeDIA is different: We seek to shift this framing to see women as change-makers actively shaping digital futures in Africa. We unite leading women change-makers from various sectors to engage in action research with women (and male allies) across African countries to co-create more gender-just digital futures. Please browse our Members page to find out more about the inspiring women (and men) who are part of the GeDIA team!
Funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), in Phase 1 (May 2019 - April 2021) we are working on a joint research agenda which we then hope to put into practice in Phase 2 (from 2021).
We are pursuing three lines of work:
FOCAL AREA 1 — Amplifying advocacy for gender equality and equal participation in public life by leveraging Data Science, Data Visualisation and Social Media Campaigning. In collaboration with Malala Fund and Oxfam, we train gender activists in these areas and develop training tools.
FOCAL AREA 2 — We explore what can be done to ensure fair access to education and careers in IT and Data Science for women and girls. Together with the Zambian Asikana Network for Women in IT, the African Data Science School, and the South African social enterprise CodeSpace, we examine the barriers facing women and girls who seek to work in these sectors. We develop a curriculum in IT and Data Science for schools and colleges, in which content and representation affirm girls and women.
FOCAL AREA 3 — We examine co-design processes for digital-related services and develop co-design methodologies that are more gender-just and participatory. Here we bring together the interdisciplinary design expertise of Engineering, Information Systems and Participatory Development Practice, and involve women as active partners at each stage.
Our network includes academics from the fields of ICT4D, Human Computer Interaction, Design, Sustainable Development, Gender Studies, Computer Science, Engineering, Data Science, Information Systems and Innovation. Partners in the GeDIA network are currently developing a joint research agenda through a series of workshops, through mutual interdisciplinary and cross-cultural dialogue. Further, we are developing a "network of networks" - a network which connects the existing networks of our partners (including Malala Fund, University of Cape Town Alumni Network, ICT4DNorth and Oxfam). We conduct webinars and training, thereby fostering capacity building, peer mentoring and mutual learning.
So far, the GeDIA network has held six all-network half-day virtual workshops:
As well as several group meetings in the Focal Areas, each Focal Area has framed and commissioned a Literature Review, which have now all been completed. Upcoming workshops will focus on developing a joint grant application. Watch this space!