Engendering Women Data Use, Privacy, and Protection in Africa: Focus on Data Laws in South Africa and Kenya
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The discourse of data privacy and protection in Africa is an emerging one. While States in the region are bringing their legislation to speed in this field, the prevailing influence of patriarchy on every sector of the society extends to data privacy and protection as well. The inclusion of women in relevant legislation at this stage is pertinent and underscores the discourse of engendering women’s data privacy and protection. Women’s data privacy and protection, despite its importance, is arguably an area that has been scantily researched. This paper argues that women are differently affected by data privacy challenges than men and ought to be inclusively protected by laws and regulations. Focusing on Kenya and South Africa, the paper looks at the gender-inclusive provisions of the State’s data protection legislations in comparison with Nigeria and developing strategies for gender-based data privacy and protection in other jurisdictions. Using a desktop methodology of literature review, within a comparative analysis of laws, the research finds that although the whole community will benefit from a feminist internet, existing laws and policies are not inclusive for women. It is therefore important to open the discourse surrounding women’s data privacy issues and security, to ensure that women are not just an afterthought in legislations of importance.
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