Yasmín Belén Quiroga: "The production of open data with a gender perspective promotes transparency and trust in the justice system".


Yasmin Quiroga at the Poderoso festival in July 2022 in Buenos Aires. Photo: Agustina Botto 

Yasmín Belén Quiroga is a feminist lawyer specializing in gender and data. She is a secretary at the Criminal and Misdemeanor Court 10 of the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is one of the authors of " Data with a gender perspective and open justice", research conducted as part of the Spotlight Initiative on the experience of Court 10, which makes available all the resolutions and sentences of the court through digital media. She is also co-founder of DataGénero, the first gender-sensitive data observatory in Latin America.

How can we encourage more girls and women to study and work in the world of data?  

It is precisely the data that continue to show us that it is necessary to promote, from an early age, the choice and entry of girls and women to STEM subjects (science, technology, mathematics, and engineering). This knowledge is, even today, related to activities that only men are allowed to pursue, due to the relationship between knowledge and power. It is also crucial to raise awareness of the importance of gender-sensitive data for making public policy decisions based on evidence and not on beliefs, with the creation of specific training courses on these topics. 

What characterizes gender-sensitive data?   

Data are a snapshot of reality, they are not objective or neutral. Feminist thought seeks to question who has the data and produces it, for what purpose, what its uses are, its limits, its biases, and what we are missing. Specifically, data with a gender perspective are planned, collected, recorded, and analyzed considering the problems of women and LGBTI+ people for the development of public policies aimed at achieving substantive equality. 

What is the role of the first gender-sensitive data observatory in the region?   

DataGénero seeks to merge the technical world of data with gender studies to build a sustainable and inclusive data future from and for Latin America. This space aims to observe and monitor the diverse data practices that directly affect the lives of women and LGBTI+ people, advising governments, companies, and organizations working with and based on data. 

What initiatives have you carried out from DataGénero?  

In addition to the first transfeminist datathon in May 2021, in December last year we held a workshop in which we worked on the mapping of data with a gender perspective in national and subnational open data portals, the impact of motherhood on women's labor trajectories and the incorporation of the diversity perspective in administrative records of the national public sector. We also conducted research on the 11th anniversary of the passing of the law on same-sex marriage, when we undertook the search for data to gather statistics on marriages; on the 10th anniversary of the gender identity law, we investigated the statistical representation of trans, transvestite, and non-binary people, or when we investigated women's political participation. 

What is the most recent and innovative project?  

AymurAI is a software created by DataGénero which, through artificial intelligence technologies, collects and provides data on gender-based violence based on court rulings. It is a desktop application that reads the resolution, detects the relevant information such as types of violence present, modality, phrases referred by the aggressors to the victims of violence or if there was any type of connection between victim and aggressor, among others, and shows it to the user, who then has to validate it as correct or correct it, so that all this information appears structured in a database. 

What is open justice?  

It is a practice that seeks to bring justice closer to society with policies of transparency, innovation, clear language, citizen participation, accountability, and open data with a gender perspective with the help and use of ICTs. It is not news to say that the judiciary is one of the powers whose credibility is most affected. According to the latest Latinobarómetro survey (2020), the level of confidence in the justice system in Latin America is 25% and in Argentina, 16%, which means that open justice initiatives have the challenge of making the State power, traditionally more distant from the citizenry, more accessible and generating confidence and credibility. 

Why is the open data initiative with a gender perspective carried out by Court 10 a pioneer?  

The initiative began in 2015 when Judge Pablo Casas took over the Criminal Contraventional and Misdemeanor Court 10 of the City of Buenos Aires, is a pioneer in producing open data with a gender perspective to promote transparency and trust in the justice system. Open data is innovative because it deals with the judiciary and makes data available to understand the problem of gender violence in cases that reach the courts. Collecting this type of data can help us identify patterns and trends contributing to developing data-driven public policies to prevent gender-based violence. One of the strengths of this initiative is that it is not limited to simply collecting and publishing data. Still, we also focused on training the people who work in the court to manage and analyze the data.   

What barriers do women and diversities face today in accessing justice?  

Diana Maffía, director of the Gender Observatory of the CABA Judiciary, recognizes different types of barriers that seem to me to be very illustrative: epistemic, which has to do with, above all, the fact that women do not know their rights; subjective, because many people, even if they know about the existence of human rights, do not feel that they are entitled to them because of their mere human dignity; political, which has to do with the lack of material, human and communication resources to enforce the rules; legal, where the enforceability of rights depends on access to justice and the existence of accessible places of complaint (the Ombudsman's Offices) and also of resources and capacities that allow us to make an international claim in the event that the local justice system systematically denies us access to our rights (free, trained and qualified sponsors); economic, ranging from the money needed to pay a lawyer to transportation, having a working day with the risk of losing attendance or not getting paid that day, having to be replaced in care tasks or court fees and other expenses; geographic, the differences between rural and urban areas, the availability of consultation places close to the home, the lack of decentralization of prosecutors' offices and courts, or the probability of having to move with children; and cultural, when cultural stereotypes that separate people from their rights are very strong, the resource of overcoming all the other barriers is not enough.  

How can we promote gender-sensitive justice?  

By constantly training judicial personnel in gender perspective and the different types of violence suffered by women and LGBTI+; carrying out awareness campaigns in the justice system; strengthening existing regulations and developing new laws and public policies that consider the gender perspective; guaranteeing access to justice; promoting interdisciplinary work teams within the courts -today most of them are comprised of people who study or have studied law-; implementing protection and security measures for people at risk; compiling and analyzing data with a gender perspective, to have a precise diagnosis of the situation and be able to design specific policies and measures to address them; promoting the active participation of women and LGBTI+ in justice, both in decision-making positions and in the representation of victims and complainants, and working in inter-institutional alliances between civil society organizations, public and private agencies. 



Recomendaciones para transversalizar la perspectiva de género en el mundo de los datos

Ivana Feldfeber y Mailen García, integrantes de DataGénero, plantean algunas recomendaciones como punto de partida: 

  • Considerar la perspectiva de género desde que se planifica la forma en la que los datos serán recolectados, hasta el análisis, la visualización y la comunicación final. 

  • Formación permanente en sensibilización de género y problemáticas sociales, para generar soluciones inclusivas y comprometidas con un mundo mejor.  

  • Contar con metadatos sobre las fuentes, definiciones y otras consideraciones especiales que ayudan a explicar quién, cómo, cuándo y por qué se crearon los datos.  

  • Responsabilidad y ética. Preguntarse ¿quién y para qué invierte en estos relevamientos?, pensar en la privacidad de la información, la protección de las bases de datos y fuentes, así como su anonimización. 


Nota: Estas publicaciones buscan estimular un debate propositivo en torno a los principales temas de interés para el avance de la igualdad de género y el empoderamiento de las mujeres en América Latina y el Caribe. Los conceptos expresados por las personas entrevistadas para la producción de nuestros contenidos editoriales no reflejan necesariamente la posición oficial de ONU Mujeres y agencias del Sistema de Naciones Unidas.