Talk:WikiWomenCamp 2012

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Hi there. As someone that is fully behind improving the gender balance on the Wikimedia projects, I have a number of issues with the premise and setup of this meeting. Sorry...

  1. Why is this event women-only? Are men incapable of providing useful input with resolving the gender balance issue? If not, then why aren't they permitted to attend the event? I can understand positive discrimination, and I'm not questioning that this should be mostly attended by women, but excluding men seems to be rather extreme. (Note that I'm coming from a neutral perspective here - I don't desire to attend this event, regardless of the invitation list, since I have too much else going on right now, despite being interested in this topic and hoping that it can be resolved.)
  2. Why Buenos Aires? That seems to be a fairly random location, and one that doesn't seem to be connected with the location of the majority, or minority, of candidate attendees of the event. Having said that, I'd love to be shown data that proves me wrong on this point...
  3. I'm curious about why this event focuses on "wikis in general including commercial, non-profit and educational wikis", rather than just the Wikimedia projects? I've no objections to a broader focus, but I'm curious about why this statement is made.
  4. Why the pink? In today's world, that seems to be connected with women, but that wasn't always the case. It seems rather stereotypical to adopt this colour scheme...
  5. (and this is a minor point) What's this "Wikimedia Foundation movement"? I haven't heard of it... I have heard of the Wikimedia movement, and the Wikimedia Foundation as an organisation that runs the servers that the projects run on, but not the both combined...

Thanks. Mike Peel 00:08, 20 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  1. Men will be invited to a second, two day conference immediately following this that specifically deals with the gender gap. The exact details are still being discussed, so an announcement has not yet been made. More details are covered on WikiWomenCamp/FAQ related to this.
  2. Buenos Aires was chosen for several reasons. First, the board of Wikimedia Argentina has four women. This is an impressive number. Second, Wikimedia Argentina has a track record of successfully hosting international wiki conferences. They did a fantastic job hosting Wikimania in 2009. Third, the conference was first organised by women in Australia, Argentina and Indonesia. Of these three countries, Argentina appeared to be the most accessible and most affordable for Europeans and people from the USA to attend from. Four, we intentionally wanted a location outside Europe and North America. There is a perception that WMF is too focused in that direction, and it makes it more difficult for those of us living outside that area to justify spending money to go Europe and the USA. Beyond and related to that, there is a specific objective of identifying women from outside Europe and North America to participate. Being outside of that is thus important in terms of supporting the message regarding the importance of their involvement.
  3. Early on, we identified women involved in the wiki community who could be valuable assets to women in the Wikimedia movement. We asked them to participate and we want them included because we feel we can mutually learn from each other in ways that can be taken back to our respective communities.
  4. Pink is Beria's fault. :P I had absolutely nothing to do with it. I pointed her to this guide to make sure we didn't chose any colours with offensive meaning. :)
  5. Bad wording choice on my part. Can fix that. Basic goal is to be clear: This isn't just English Wikipedia. It includes such things as Indonesian Wikiversity and Spanish Wikinews. :)

Hope that answers your questions. :) --LauraHale 00:28, 20 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

About the pink the explanation is easy: I like it! Simple as this. I am, however, open to clear suggestions about what should be the colour. Béria Lima msg 00:30, 20 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the speedy responses. :-) In reply:
  1. OK - but there's currently no information about that on the FAQ page... I still don't get why men aren't permitted to attend the first event? As a suggestion: the UK's Girl Geeks approach is that men can attend a Girl Geek event when they are invited to attend by a woman attendee. Perhaps that approach would work well here too?
  2. I can't disagree too much here. I would suggest that the costs of participants attending the event in a given country are evaluated at some point, possibly after the event if there isn't an opportunity earlier, to see whether it would have been more cost-effective to have held the event elsewhere. If there's a (private) list of those that the organisers think may attend the event, then perhaps this could be done sooner rather than later?
  3. OK, that's understandable - but that doesn't appear to address the point I raised above? E.g. why should discussions of commercial wikis be part of this meeting?
  4. I'll drop the point about the pink then. :-) But I would note that it may be off-putting to some women in the absence of them reading that explanation, due to cultural stereotypes. A neutral colour (e.g. anything aside from pink or blue) might be more effective.
  5. OK, please fix that. :-) I completely understand this not just being about English Wikipedia - it should clearly be about the Wikimedia projects as a whole.
Thanks. Mike Peel 00:46, 20 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. Men have many events that they can attend. When men are involved, the dynamics often change for women. Some link dumping as to why this needs to be women only: Women-only space, and RWW, WSJ, Fempages. We're doing outreach to women in places where women are cultured to be quieter around men and to not speak up. By removing the men, we're giving these women another chance to have a voice. Could men be helpful? Absolutely. If they want to be helpful for this conference, there are a few ways that can contribute and be involved related to this conference: 1) Help women get funding to attend, 2) Support women who are attending by giving them access to your network which they can use to empower themselves and power other women, 3) Identify women who are currently making unrecognised and largely unsupported work (geographic, ethnic, cultural, non-Wikipedia, topical editing on Wikipedia) and encourage them to participate in this conference, 3) Attend the two day conference following WikiWomenCamp and participate in those discussions.
  2. It is cheaper for some of the Asians, Oceania and South American participants to go to Buenos Aires than it is for us to go to Europe or North America. At the same time, for some of us, the time we have to expend to get there is much less. Costs and time were considered.
  3. wikiHow has 43% female participation. wikiHow knows how to get and keep female participants. Wikia has done a lot of work with their editor to make it more user friendly. Wikispaces has had tremendous success working inside education. Commercial wikis have women placed to provide valuable assistance to the Wikimedia movement women in meeting our own goals and the goals of the Foundation. We want them there to help us with that. (And at least one of those wikis WANTS to be there, because why they do a great job with getting and retaining female editorship, they would like to improve the quality of their content.) We want women who can help us. They need to be at the table to help us succeed. :)
  4. Beria Beria Beria. Oh Beria! Here it this bus. I am throwing her under it. :D
Hope that helps some more. :) --LauraHale 01:03, 20 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mike, on #1: I'm having a little trouble understanding where you're coming from. While I certainly agree with your central point, that men have important roles to play in narrowing the gender gap, I'm more confused about the general point of questioning the validity of an event because of who it's designed to accept.
It seems to me that there's lots of room for specialized events in the Wikimedia world, including both women-only events and open events focusing on the gender gap. If somebody announced an event that would only accept members of model train clubs, I think that would be OK too. Of course, it might be worthwhile to question funding priorities when discussing events that are exclusionary in some way. But I'm assuming (and perhaps I'm wrong) that you're not a member of the chapters sponsoring this event. So what is the issue here? Are you really saying that if there's a desire to convene women without men around Wikimedia, that it's somehow contrary to our movement or goals to do so? -Pete F 01:08, 20 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know the status of Wikimedia UK in terms of any proposals before their board. I know one of their members, Panyd, was part of the conversation from the start and she was very supportive of what we are doing and really appreciate her assistance. We asked her to ask her to see if her chapter might be interested in passing a similar proposal. I know Wikimedia UK has been supportive of her work. --LauraHale 01:45, 20 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Minimum age limit?[edit]

Just got a query offlist from a young woman in India, asking if there is a minimum age limit for attending this conference. She is interested but will turn 21 just after the conference is over, so is unsure. Is there any minimum age limit? Bishdatta 04:34, 20 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No minimum age limit. :) --LauraHale
It's a WikiWomenCamp ["1. An adult female human. 2. A wife (sometimes a fiance or girlfriend)"] → «« Man77 »» [de]·[bar] 13:54, 16 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]