Friday, January 15, 2010

Fem2 and the Politics of Inclusion

I'm submitting a session for the Gov 2.0 Camp LA Women in Technology track. Here's the scoop:

Although the concept of open government & transparent processes assumes equal ability for participation, there are still spaces and situations in the world of online politics and government 2.0 where some or all women get cut out of the discussion or added as an afterthought. This session will address ways to ensure equal possibilities for all.

Transparency and open government assumes inclusion, so questions of how to outreach and include all groups are important. Since Gov 2.0 Camp LA specifically wanted to address problems of women, this session will focus on that (vs. specific ethnic groups, for example). Because as much as we'd like to think this new online world order provides instantaneous equality, there are still areas of gender bias. Online new boys' clubs have in some ways subtly disregarded women of equal status in online communities, causing rifts, bad feelings and a dilution in the quality of the conversation on important political and policy discussions.

Through the efforts of groups like Fem 2.0 and individuals like Allyson Kapin (@womenintech) and Shireen Mitchell (@digitalsista), some of these issues have been getting attention, but we're still not there yet. This session will discuss some of the problems and solutions to this complex issue.

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