Geochicas is a group of Spanish-speaking women from OpenStreetMap formed before SOTM-LATAM in Sao Paolo in 2016, around the pre-event discussions about the very low participation of female in proposals.
Derived from this observation in the Telegram channel of OSM-LATAM, the discussion about the low participation of women in this regional chat as well as in the community in general, in its local, regional and global scales was broadened.
Following this observation, @SeleneYang (Argentina), @Mapanauta and @Mapeadora (Mexico) decided to organize together a series of activities in this SOTM to initiate a collective reflection on gender inequality in this regional community, raise the key issues, develop perennials lines of work.
These lines were:
- The decision to have in every SOTM-LATAM a space for reflection on gender equity in the form of a talk and a panel with the assembly, looking for continuity
- Form a group of women with a reserved chat called Geochicas, created in the conference with about 30 attendees
- Have a proactive communication effort in the OpenStreetMap LATAM networks to keep the debate on gender equity active
- Promote in the group of women peer-to-peer teaching of technical and theoretical topics
- Promote our continuous participation in data and free technologies events, and a systematic participation in the SOTMs.
From 3 people the group grew during Sao Paolo- SOTM event to 30, and brings together, a year and a half later, around 150 people of diverse origins, from numerous communities, with very broad profiles.
In this line of action, I participated on behalf of Geochicas in the State of the Map 2018 in Milan, with a presentation of the group's activities and achievements, and presented the results of [our survey on gender representation in OSM](https: //slides.com/geochicasosm/geochicas-sotm2018/).
With the intention of contributing to the construction of an OSM agenda on equity, we collaborated with @Heather Leson and Kate Chapman @Wonderchook in this session to brainstorm among the attendees about opening our communities.
A mixed assistance and of all countries opined around 3 premises: I will do; We should stop doing; We should start or continue.
The ideas expressed can be summarized and grouped as follows:
- I will give an active female role model in the community of labels
- I will pay attention to the concerns of women in the community
- I will promote the organization of community activities, with attention to a diverse participation, and take care of the conditions of safe access
- I will get involved in local communities and invite women to join
- I will participate more in debates about the community, I will listen and not judge
- I will promote the development of easy-to-use tools to contribute to the map
- I will be alert to violent tones and harassment in communication channels
- I will have more reflection on the subject of privileges and inequity
- I will inquire about COCs and be more sensitive to the issue of respectful treatment
- Consider and take advantage of diverse abilities, in the modes of contribution to OSM
We should stop:
- To communicate the results with a ranking or competition system. we have to commit ourselves more to inclusion, to value different skills and different centers of interest
- To consider the essence of OSM as a technological project
- To have a prejudice about the motivations for contributing
- To have a limited vision of genders, and expand the focus to all genders
- From supporting the foundation until a complaint system of harassment is complied with
- Stereotyping people, groups, nationalities
- To conceal or tolerate harassment, provocations, abuses and toxic modes, all forms of discrimination
- To pretend that inequality and discrimination in OSM does not exist and is not a problem
- To limit the concept of diversity to gender diversity, expand the focus
We should start to:
- Listen with empathy and respect disagreements and differences in vision, interest, and values
- Measure changes systematically, periodically, with surveys or other instruments
- Improve the mechanisms for the integration of new people
- Analyze the fine mechanisms of exclusion of marginalized groups towards debates, community, activities and OSM events. Have a constant search for integration
- Have a financing council to know projects and proposals with a need of development, and be able to channel resources towards a greater diversity
- Have a solid strategy of awareness on diversity and equity, diverse interests, with a much broader understanding (gender, LGBTQIA, ages, physical conditions, etc.), address racial discrimination, work on access to marginalized communities
- The board must have a specific work axis on diversity and clear objectives
- Promote our allies
- Have a more motivating perspective and also make visible the efforts and changes
- Collaborate with allies and stakeholders with a clear stance in favor of diversity and equity
- Develop safe spaces for women and other groups
- Build a Code of Conduct, moderations, and an anonymous reporting system, and systems to identify micro-aggressions by the community
- Expand the debate on the topic to share experience and co-create solutions
- Support initiatives focused on women, such as #letgirlsmap, @OsmGirls, @geochicasosm, develop them at all scales
- Have a formal work on the tagging system, with gender vision
(The complete list of comments and ideas written by participants to the brainstorming is transcribed in the mail list firstname.lastname@example.org)
This collective exercise of brainstorming has been invaluable. It allows us to better understand, with an expanded and diverse vision, the dimensions of the diversity and equity problem in OpenStreetMap. It allows us all to guide our actions in all the sectors where we participate and expresse a voice from the community towards the OSM Foundation to demand a development of the agenda that does belong to everyone.