As part of her work on the book Data Feminism (MIT Press, 2020), Catherine D’Ignazio, together with Lauren F. Klein, analyzed the lack of reliable institutional data on feminicide as “missing data” and the production of feminicide data by activists and civil society organizations as “feminist counterdata”. While working on Data Feminism in 2019, D’Ignazio was on sabbatical in Buenos Aires and interviewed a number of organizations working at the intersection of data science and feminist issues, including Silvana Fumega, Research and Policy Director of ILDA. When D’Ignazio set up the Data + Feminism Lab in 2020, one of the first objectives was to create feminist technologies to infrastructure activist labor and support the production and use of feminicide data.
In early 2017, ILDA began an exploratory study to understand how changes in the production and use of data might contribute to understanding and ultimately fighting femicide in Latin America and the Caribbean. ILDA designed an action-research methodology to assess the problem, to understand how working with data could contribute to a solution, and to establish recommendations for governments in the region. ILDA’s regional standard of data on femicide/feminicide, led by Silvana Fumega, has had initial support from the International Development Research Center (IDRC), the Avina Foundation and, in its second stage, from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).
Activist-researcher Helena Suárez Val leads Feminicidio Uruguay, a project dedicated to monitoring, recording, and mapping cases of feminicide in Uruguay. She initially started collecting data as part of a collective effort to publicly protest, mourn and make visible gender-related killings of women in Uruguay, organized from the Coordinadora de Feminismos del Uruguay. From 2016, Suárez Val continued the project independently and has been collecting and publishing data about feminicide, feminicide attempts, and other violent deaths of women ever since. She was one of the civil society actors consulted on the first draft of ILDA’s feminicide data standard. She is currently in a doctoral programme at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick, focusing her investigation on the political effects of the circulation of feminicide data and data visualisations.
In August 2019, the three collaborators met to start developing ideas to create the project Data Against Feminicide which has 3 key objectives:
- fostering an international community of practice around feminicide data
- developing tools to support the collection of feminicide data from media sources
- supporting efforts to standardize the production of feminicide data where appropriate