Vol. 19 Issue 1 (2023)
Continuing Discrimination in the times of technology: Women, Work, Algorithms and Law in India
Human societies are discriminatory. So, it has been an unrelenting effort to eliminate what divides us. While there have been leapfrog developments in this regard, we need to consider newer challenges now that technology is taking over public and private spaces. The author, in this article, discusses gender-based algorithmic discrimination in workplaces and argues that there is an urgent need to enforce laws for regulating algorithmic discrimination. India is in a precarious position. It has been consistently faring poorly when it comes to the gender gap in work. It lacks a comprehensive and codified anti-discriminatory law; and lacks laws to deal with algorithmic discrimination. The withdrawn Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, the Draft Digital Data Protection Bill, 2022 and the Digital Personal
Data Protection Act, 2023, do not effectively deal with gender discrimination. The parliament is now considering introducing the Digital India Act to give a much-needed overhaul to the country’s antiquated technology laws. The article focuses on the current labour and technology laws, the withdrawn bills, the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, and the discussion around the Digital India Act to argue that there is a need to specifically consider algorithmic gender discrimination. Further, it culls out the lessons that India can learn from the global developments in this field.
Sejal Chandak is a PhD student and MSCA Cofund CITI-GENS Early Stage Researcher at School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast.