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Mining Data around the Digital Gender Gap in Africa

When technologist Neema Iyer returned home to Africa after graduating from Emory University in the United States with a degree in epidemiology and statistics, she was bent on addressing gender from a technology perspective. Born to Tanzanian and Indian parents and raised in Nigeria, 34-year-old Iyer is today running Pollicy, a firm she founded in Kampala, Uganda, as a civic technology organization that works at the intersection of data design and technology and understanding how data can be used most effectively for improving service delivery through research, digital literacy, digital security and products. When she first touched down, she took up a job in Uganda where she worked in the ICT sector, but found it was run by predominantly white, male founders from the West. There was also a lack of touch points in governments with the African context. So Iyer decided she needed a fresh perspective using a gender lens. Pollicy, funded mostly by grants from big tech like Facebook and Mozilla, more broadly focuses on gendered data and feminist data, that takes into account power dynamics and the person researching.