On the occasion of International Women’s Day and its 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity, the Datasphere Initiative spoke to a range of policy professionals in the Datasphere Initiative’s global network, to ask them: why equity should be a core goal in policy and technical approaches to responsibly unlocking the value of data?
Teki Akuetteh, Founder and Executive Director of the Africa Digital Rights Hub shared her perspectives and identified specific actions that can be taken.
Read more about the campaign and other contributions here
In a world where the population of women is almost equal to men, embracing equity in the development and use of technologies in our data driven societies IS NOT A NICE-TO-HAVE, BUT A MUST-HAVE. The equitable treatment of women in all aspects of our data driven economies is directly linked to the overall growth and development of societies.
It is estimated for example that women and children make up the majority of Africa’s population with women constituting a little over 50 percent. Unfortunately, this demographic group also benefit least from the digital policy strategies and interventions. How therefore can a society whose Digital Transformation Strategy of harnessing digital technologies and innovation to transform African societies and economies achieve these objectives without addressing its impact of the other half of its population? Without embracing equity, the objectives of digital transformation cannot be realized. It is for this reason that at the Africa Digital Rights’ Hub, we believe it is high time we interrogate data-driven policies to assess the following issues:
- What are the barriers of data-driven economies to African women and their businesses?
- How inclusive are policy interventions in addressing the challenges faced by women in Africa?
- How are the policy interventions being implemented (if at all) at the country levels, and does it take cognizance the challenges faced by women?
- How are the interventions at the country level being implemented/undertaken to include women in the digital single market agenda?
If there is anything that is needed now more than ever it is THE SPIRIT OF UBUNTU in data-driven economies.
Teki Akuetteh is an ICT/Telecom Lawyer, a Privacy/Data Protection Consultant, and Senior Partner at a law firm based in Accra, Ghana. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Africa Digital Rights Hub, a member of the UN Global Pulse Privacy Advisory Group, and a non-resident fellow of the Center for Global Development. Previously, Teki has worked for the Government of Ghana in the development of several key legislations for the ICT sector including the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843), Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775), and Electronic Transactions Act, 2012 (Act 772). She was also the first Executive Director of the Data Protection Commission of Ghana.
Teki holds an LLM in Information Technology and Telecommunications Law from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, and a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Political Science from the University of Ghana (Legon), Accra, Ghana.