3 min

Feminist Open Government — Co Creation Starts from the Top

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Written by
Published on
February 26, 2018

A week ago, we were SUPER excited about the announcement of the new Feminist Open Government Initiative:

This weekend we found the optics of the initiative are, frankly, VERY bad

So we commented on it:

We want to support the Feminist Open Government initiative because promoting the voices of women as decision makers is at our community’s core. Also, we want to see men support feminism, because men are important partners in working together.

However, there is one glaring issue with OGP’s Feminist Commitment thus far, and it seems to be part of a pattern:

Maybe also wake up call about all male leadership?

And here is a thread just from November 2017 that looks at the same topic -

If we want Feminist Open Government, we need women at the top making the decisions. Women need to be empowered throughout the Open Government chain, and discussions seemingly about us should not be without us. This feedback isn’t new;

The Web Foundation

wrote insightful piece on how we can do it better a year ago.

We’ve outlined a few ways OGP can do better.

  1. OGP support unit should have a deep reflection on inclusive leadership. The OGP team is diverse, but when it comes to the leadership, women seem to be absent. This has led to a number of the unfortunate photo ops from above. We know that in the past women used to be part of OGP leadership and now they are absent. Therefore, an inclusive and diverse reflection for the OGP support unit itself will help set an example to other organisations in the future of the Feminist Open Government initiative.
  2. Until there is an official lead and team for the the Feminist Open Government program, OGP should designate women to be part of high level discussions. Many women were part of the internal push for the Feminist Open Government program. This is not just for optics; it’s to set an example and ensure women are at table. This is, without question, vital to create a truly feminist agenda.
  3. The OGP should reply to this blog post about the way forward with concrete actions. No need for excuses (“It was a meeting, not a panel”, “The comms person was new”, we’ve heard them all). When we tweet about this topic, we don’t want your acknowledgement in the form of a ‘like’, just to find out months later that the optics still is the same (happened before, look at the tweets). We want your voice and actions to make this an open inclusive dialogue.

Open Heroines was born during the OGP Global Summit in México. The majority of the women in the community are deeply committed to the cause and work day and night to create a real Open Government for citizens around the world. For OGP, feminism should not be an afterthought or a checkbox. Gender equality should be at the core of OGP and one that is needed to accomplish its goals and to honor its members. A truly Open Government will only be achieved once the organization realizes the importance of diverse voices in their work and not only as a cosmetic factor. We support OGP’s feminist commitment and will continue to provide feedback to ensure its success.

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