A discussion on Facebook about the board of the ACL only having 1 female had me thinking about our own National Council and why that is not a really good argument to get into considering we only have/had 1 female Council member, pending this Years post congress voting.
Management of this party, like most parties is very male dominated, if not entirely so and I’m looking for respectful ways to equalise the ranks. I also would REALLY love if it was Women heading up the issues that most affect Women, it feels far more genuine then. I don’t wish for us to be patronising and disrespectful, so many projects to assist with equality seem so fundamentally broken as they treat females like little children that need to be corralled for our purpose and it makes me feel greasy just thinking about them.
I think we are THE most open party, and we don’t have any intentional barriers to entry that I can see, but then I’m a Caucasian Male in a first world country and if any subset of human is going to have the least barriers, that is the one, which can make it difficult to spot barriers that other people collide with.
Within our membership is a rough figure of 20% female members, slowly increasing I am told, having Mel on the NC, Laura on the PDC and Wendy on the Press Team has only done good things for us.
Our meetings on IRC where people engage using genderless pseudonyms breaks down and assists far more than we realise, many studies have shown that women are far more likely to be cut-off in a conversation, even by other women, but the general structure of our public meetings by virtue of its simplicity has removed this.
So, my questions for discussion are as follows:
- Do we have barriers that I am unaware of, in which case how do you feel we could remove them?
- Should we be doing more to ensure gender equalisation, or are we already doing all we can?
- Do you have any non-patronising, respectful idea’s on how we could involve women better?
- Am I missing the mark entirely with this topic itself, and if so, can you educate me?
Excellent questions and consciousness raiser.
I’m in the same boat, in that I’m playing life on the easy setting.
To save repetition I will like the original post and discussion here
It is set to public, so hopefully it is accessible to all.
I’m keen to enter this discussion!
I think perhaps a lot of the possible barriers are non-intentional. Like for example the fact that when I use my first name it sticks out like it’s highlighted with hot pink, at least to my insecure mind. This is not anybody’s fault, and I predict that when the numbers of woman-identifying people increase, this affect will be reduced.
Personally, a lot of the time I want to be seen and worked with as a person rather than as a woman, and I’m glad to say that this seems to be the case. (although it is probably true that my perspective from a woman’s point of view can be valuable particularly when discussing gender-sensitive topics like this one).
These are my first thoughts, and I’m happy to contribute more later on.
That is a pretty cool article actually, thanks for the link @dcrafti.
I don’t think that the issue is one of gender equality. I certainly did not and do not feel marginalised within this party. I think that it is a matter of who wants to raise their hand to undertake what are very time consuming and arduous tasks within the party. I’m willing to take on more, especially with regard to female gender specific issues where I can bring both my trade union experience of over 30 years plus my personal experience as a feminist ever since first learning to talk. My problem is focus not gender.
20% appears to be par for ‘not actively discouraging’ female participation which is a good start. To go beyond that means actively seeking out and encouraging women and other underrepresented groups to participate.
This is common to a lot of the tech industry. Thankfully people are actively working on ways to make it better. Here’s a good example with lots of links to useful resources. https://medium.com/hacker-paradise/how-we-got-47-female-applicants-for-our-hacker-retreat-430b8a13a6fc
Sorry for coming to this topic late, but here I am.
I have never, ever, felt like I was unwanted in the PPAU circle for being a woman. The gender divide hasn’t stopped me from participating. I have some personal things to sort out and I should be more active in the party soon.
I’ve started a topic as I’m beginning to draft the terms of reference for the women’s engagement strategy working group as per my election pledge.