Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Abrams. Mar. 2019. 432p. notes. index. ISBN 9781419729072. $27. SOC SCI
In her introduction, Perez (Do It Like a Woman) explains that data bias toward men over women is both caused and perpetuated by "male universality" or "the presumption that what is male is universal" and that this failure to give equal consideration to the female perspective has put women's lives and livelihoods at risk. The bulk of the book is filled with copious examples of how this lack of female-specific data negatively affects and disadvantages women across myriad situations. The examples are divided into sections on daily life, the workplace, design, going to the doctor, public life, and when it goes wrong (conflicts, pandemics, and natural disasters). Perez concludes with an afterword in which she advocates for a shift toward the female focus that gives particular attention to the themes that appear frequently in the data bias examples—the female body, male violence against women, and women's unpaid care burden—and for increased female representation in decision-making and knowledge production as a means to make this happen.
VERDICT Exhaustively researched and well argued, this volume will appeal to anyone curious about equality and social justice topics.

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