Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2019/Programme/Submissions/Gendered langauge

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Gendered language on wiki projects
Type of submission (lecture, panel, workshop, lightning talk, roundtable, poster)
  • Lecture
Author(s) of the submission

Matej Grochal




Wikimedians of Slovakia User Group

  • Diversity, Community Engagement, Policies
Abstract (up to 100 words)

I will first describe gender-neutral language in general and then focus on the situation on Slovak Wikipedia, esp. the conflicts that happen around the addition of the -ová to women's last names and what solutions have been attempted. Secondly, I will ask the participants whether they have similar experiences in their communities and how they have dealt with them. I will try to find out whether there exist policies for gender-neutral language in Wikipedias and Wikimedias around the the community.

How will this session be beneficial for the communities in the region of Central and Eastern Europe?

Participants will gain an understanding of what the gender neutral langauge situation is in the CEE communities.

Special requirements
Slides or further information

Interested attendees[edit]

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  • Let's start with the OVA problem in Slovakia. This is a bit of a problem in a community, there is a lot of discussion about that.
  • Hildegard O Rainova, is an ambassador from Ireland and she lives in Slovakia, her real surname is Rain but Wikipedia immediately added OVA. In their regulation is a lot of rules and notes that say that on foreign surnames the OVA can not be added.
  • In the case of Angelina Jolie, the reason why Wikipedia didn't change her surname is that she changed her surname. But the discussion is that her surname is real or not and should the extension OVA should be added or not and how is still going. Next example: Yoko Ono -- is it an artist name or not?
  • Surnames of women from Japan, China, and one more Asian country, don't change.
  • Matej had a meeting with women organizations about this problem. The result is that they have to wait for the change of the rules. The minister of the culture is more concerned and he sees that this is real life and practical problem.
  • Q1: What if women with multiple marriages keep all the surnames would that six OVA be on every surname?
    • A1: Probably yes, I am not quite sure
  • Q2: Rule is for every surname which is not from your country you put the suffix OVA? Because I saw surnames with and without ova? Why don't you keep the original surname?
    • A2: Adding the suffixes have some sense. When are you talking about Angeline Jolie, it is easier to say Angelina Jolieova. But not in the nominative. In terms of the newspaper, it is very variate. Sometimes it is used, sometimes it is not.
  • Q3: I think it is a matter of language policy and that it depends on every country.
  • Q4: We have a similar problem in Ukraine, but it is clearly defined.
  • Q5: we have the same problem in Italia on Wikipedia. Some professors think that Wikipedia is not a reliable resource so that discussion should not be held od Wikipedia.