Retour Promoting gender equality at DataFest Tbilisi 2022

Promoting gender equality at DataFest Tbilisi 2022

This year for the second year in a row, the Council of Europe Office in Georgia was one of the partners of DataFest Tbilisi 2022.  

Council of Europe expert, Artificial Intelligence (AI) PhD, Gunay Kazimzade was one of the speakers of the festival and talked about gender biases in artificial intelligence-based systems. The aim was to raise awareness among representatives from various sectors, including policy makers, industry professionals and technical experts, on the fact that AI systems are not objective, and that they are mapping the biases that exist in society at technological level. Mrs Kazimzade also presented ways to prevent such biases and how to develop responsible AI practices.

The Group of Experts on Actions against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (hereafter GREVIO) recognises violence against women committed in the digital sphere as an increasingly prevalent global issue with grave consequences. The first General Recommendation of GREVIO was developed on this issue, with the aim to define terminology and concepts related to violence against women and domestic violence in the digital sphere, as well as to provide recommendations for preventing and combating this phenomenon based on the 4 pillars of the Istanbul Convention (IC): prevention, protection, prosecution and co-ordinated policies. 

The IC encourages state parties to make sustainable efforts for preventing violence against women, aimed at eliminating its causes, changing attitudes, gender roles and stereotypes that make violence against women acceptable. With its first general recommendation, GREVIO calls on member states to take preventive measures, including encouraging the ICT sector and internet intermediaries, including social media platforms, to make an active effort to avoid gender bias in the design of smart products, mobile phone applications and video games, as well as in the development of artificial intelligence.

Festival participants, journalists, researchers, analysts, data designers and civil activists, could also participate in three thematic datathons by presenting their projects. Two of the winning projects were addressing the topic of gender equality and violence against women. The winners will continue working on their projects, and the final products resulting from these projects will be published in late spring 2023. This includes a video story of women entrepreneurs and an online quiz to find out whether a person is in an abusive relationship.

CoE projects on “Promoting an Integrated Approach to End Violence Against Women and Reinforcing Gender Equality in Georgia”, “Promoting the Effective Protection of Equality and Non-Discrimination in Georgia” and “Supporting Freedom of Media and Internet in Georgia” were present at this event with a stand offering participants information on VAW and DV, diversity and freedom of speech and the possibility to take a quiz to find out whether they were gender biased. About 150 participants took a quiz and were involved in discussions around the topic of sexism and how to prevent them in society.