5 min

Open Gender Monologues: : OGP Summit 2021

Chairs in a bus.
Written by
Tracy Kadessa
Published on
January 7, 2022

In early 2020, the “world bus”, that we’re all seated in, skidded off course. Some of us were thrown out the window while others kept their seats. Although they kept their seats, not all kept their belongings. And when we thought that we’d seen it all, the bus ride got even bumpier. So we held our breath and continue to hold our breath. The bus course has changed, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on lives across the globe. It has transformed how we live and work, how we travel, and so on. It has also widened inequalities and increased the care burden for many women. For the Open Government Partnership (OGP) 2021 Summit, Open Heroines across the globe shared their pandemic experiences as well as their thoughts on 10 years of OGP, through the Open Gender Monologues (narratives of women in the Open Government space).

Below are the monologues:

Q. How has the COVID-19 Pandemic impacted your work/life?

This pandemic hit me just after maternity leave. I have been working from home for a decade now, so that transition was easy, even preferred. However, if I thought taking care of a child was a lot of work, I found myself taking care of adults too. We speak a lot about the parenting penalty, but the carers penalty that women pay is not as discussed. Society still sees women as carers, not men, and while I try to be as equal as I can to my partner, people are still surprised that he does stuff. People are still surprised to see a child on my partner’s Zoom call, but for me it’s fine for my baby to join. One thing the pandemic didn’t change is the perception of who is a carer, and we need to change it.

Coming from maternity leave also had a different affect — when I was on leave, gender issues dominated the open data and open government agenda. Now I feel like they’ve been pushed to the side. Let me tell you a secret then — there is no open recovery without intersectional feminism. There is only recovery to the privileged few if we are taking the intersectional lens away. Yes, COVID is still out there, but it hits those with less power in more effect than those without it.

Mor Rubinstein


I am so tired of COVID-19 and its spin-offs every year. I missed a graduation and other opportunities because everybody was “waiting to see what will happen next’’.



Q. What is your OGP experience? Do you find OGP inclusive? What are your recommendations for improvement?

Discovering Open Government has brought hope to my life. Tired of the public sector, of the impotence of being part of a flawed, corrupt system that seems to have no fix, I left everything to follow my passion: Open Government.

In this light, I found a purpose, something to hold onto and pour all my will and desire to contribute to the changes the world needs. I discovered Open Government thanks to my love for study and research. Social networks were my laboratory, now they are the space where I can have a voice and share the good practices of the OGP community, hoping to inspire.

Now I live in another country, I arrived wanting to learn, to collaborate. But it has been very hard to see participation being a closed circle of power, where few have access, and if you are from a country south of its borders, the walls become larger and harder to climb.

In spite of everything I have not lost heart. Through Culture 52, I am developing answers to the question, “How can we build a Culture of Open Government?”. Remember that the ultimate goal of the OGP is: “to foster a culture of open government that empowers and delivers results to citizens, and promotes the ideals of open and participatory government of the 21st century.”

Here I am, I am Oriana Oviedo Ojeda and I will continue to draw doors and open paths for myself.


When I see people from my country making presentations at OGP summit, I just shake my head. My country has mastered the art of looking good on paper and making elaborate presentations but nothing much happens on the ground. I sometimes feel that OGP is “for show”. So as we celebrate 10 years of OGP this year, let’s go back to the drawing board and figure out how to ensure that country’s honor their commitments on the ground not just on paper.



In early December 2021, I worked with the city of Buenos Aires in implementing the pilot test of the Argentine census that is to be carried out in 2022. A census is important for collection of quantitative information to enable a country plan as well as make proper policies. But census information does not always allow us to completely perceive the realities of the people represented. For instance, I accompanied a census taker who had to call her eldest son after every interview, requesting him to wake up and take care of her three-year-old son because she was working and her partner had gotten a changa (an informal job).

This invisible care management, the amount of time (and stress) that we women use to make domestic arrangements behind the scenes so that we can be able to earn extra cash can hardly be measured by surveys and censuses. Yet it is that invisible time, effort and energy that allows us as a society to continue and develop.

I saw the amazement of the census taker when an older woman told her that she lived alone in a 3-bedroom apartment. The census taker asked if she would be welcome to live with the older woman because her house only had 2 bedrooms yet there were 5 of them in her house. The woman answered jokingly but delightfully that she would and explained that she got very lonely during the week as her son only visited on weekends. Although she needed someone to talk to during the week, she did not want to ask him to visit more often because he was very busy.

I was able to witness the pain caused by the lack of emotional care, which the surveys do not record either. All these make me think about the potential of open government to be able to register and recognize the voices and needs of those women who have less and who gave and give everything, who tirelessly care so that society continues. Can we from the Open Government make these women visible and improve their lives?

Marisa Miodosky

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