Sunday, January 04, 2015

#Wikimedia - #diversity is not only about #gender

The image captures it well. Many of one group, few of another. Each group aims to achieve its priorities and consequently one group is better represented in the results. The other group can be women, it can be muslims, it can be native Americans.

When you do not like the result, you want to fix it. Arguably the battle of Uhud is more important than the battle of Gettysburg. Arguably there are not enough female editors of our projects. Arguably we do not inform properly about subjects centred in Africa or Asia; we certainly do not have enough people caring about these subjects.

When an imbalance is to be addressed, it is important to understand why it exists, what the consequences are and what keeps the imbalance in place. Females leave because of the way they are treated. The solution is simple; do not tolerate abusive sexist behaviour. Never mind freedom of expression; if someone wants to be a male chauvinist  pig, he can behave or go elsewhere. Never mind who you are, be good or be gone.

You can not pay your way out of this. You have to address the evil that is in the way groups act.

The decision of what to fund has been given to volunteers. They have found that our community is big and, the requests for funding are extremely diverse. To bring more focus to their activity, they decided to only fund projects that addresses the gender gap in editors for a set period of time. Consequently the funding of everything else stops. The least that can be said is that for all the other projects there is no continuity. There is not even continuity for the gender issue as this special period will end.

Arguably this is a bad idea. Arguably having all funding decisions in one central place is not scalable.
Thanks,
      GerardM
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