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Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Gender Equity Advocacy

Leah Bae
April 23, 2024
Categories: Advocacy 

One of the issues I have been reflecting on recently is the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in advocacy.

If you are reading this, chances are you have heard about the developments in Generative AI. According to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, “Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that learns from existing examples to create new content, such as images, text, or music. It essentially mimics human creativity, generating original outputs based on the patterns and data it has analyzed.”

Recent AI developments stand out for their potential to advance work on women, girls, and gender diverse people’s rights and issues. Notably, AI can save time, improve the quality of work in the non-profit sector, and augment the capacity of often time-strapped and under-resourced organizers, volunteers, and advocates.

Although there is a lot of possibility when using AI, there are risks and we should no doubt be wary and weave these technologies into our workflows with care. AI should always be used with a human in the loop. Humans provide essential oversight to correct biases, interpret complex data with empathy and understanding, and make adjustments that align with our ethical standards and societal values.

Also, we should only use AI tools that are transparent about how our data will be used and stored so that large language models are not trained on personal or sensitive data. I advise against instinctively trusting the information AI generates as it is capable of hallucinations (AI generated incorrect or misleading results, that are presented as fact).

The incorporation of AI in advocacy arenas is starting to transform the development, engagement, and campaigning process. However, it can also mirror and boost existing biases, affecting fairness in employment, healthcare, and technology. This happens because AI learns from past data that might be biased. To make AI fair and useful, we need to work on including diverse data and addressing its biases, especially to support gender equality. It is crucial to recognize both the good and the bad sides of AI to use it wisely.

Here are some examples of how generative AI can be leveraged for advocacy:

  • Insightful data analysis: Analyzing extensive amounts of unstructured data can uncover hidden gender disparities, offering a solid base for targeted advocacy. By approaching these insights with an intersectional feminist lens, we can ensure the data is used to challenge rather than perpetuate stereotypes.
  • Amplifying women, girls, and gender diverse people’s issues: Elevating the visibility of gender equity conversations through increased capacity for content production, including text, videos, and images. Check out tools like Jasper, OpenAI’s Dall-E, and HeyGen.
  • Increasing engagement with your community: Leveraging purpose-built and values-driven tools to communicate and engage our members and community better. Tools like Quiller can help generate fundraising and engagement content, Chorus AI can follow news relevant to your organization and generate timely custom content, and SoSha can create social media toolkits featuring AI-generated posts.
  • Efficiency in Advocacy: Automating mundane yet time-intensive tasks, allowing us to concentrate on the strategic aspects of advocacy. The essence of our work remains deeply human, necessitating that we keep our engagement genuine and personal.

Let me be clear – AI is not the answer for everything. We have autonomy in how we deploy this technology and how we use it to support thriving lives. When it comes to advocacy, we do this work because of our deep care for people; we should integrate AI into our workflows in ways that allow for our work to be more human-centred rather than less.

I believe we are just beginning to see what is possible with AI and we should keep up with generative AI advancements and their implications for society, especially the gendered impacts.

By embracing AI with optimism and caution, we can leverage its potential to advocate for gender equity more effectively while navigating its complexities with care. I encourage you to engage with this content by joining in on the thoughtful exploration and application of AI in a way that advances our shared goals of gender equality, equity, and justice. The best way to know and learn is to give it a try yourself.


Leah Bae serves on YWCA Toronto’s Board of Directors and Advocacy Advisory Committee. She generated the first draft of this blog using ChatGPT with this prompt: “I serve on the Advocacy Advisory Committee of YWCA Toronto. Write me a blog for their website, under 800 words, on using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for gender equity advocacy. Discuss both the benefits and the risks. The tone should be curious, constructive, and informative.”