Women’s digital right to the city: Open Data Day 2018 in Bologna

Orlando Association, Open Education Italy and the Digital Agenda Department of the City of Bologna promoted the local Open Data Day in Bologna to rise the awareness on the specific informational needs of women in this Italian city. What do have in common a feminist association – active in Bologna since the mid of 70ies – Open Education Italy – the newborn Italian branch of the international open education movement – and the civil servants managing and working at the Digital Agenda Dept.? The easy answer could be: they are all women talking about women with other women. However this time is not the right one. Women and men this time discussed how to find data, to free the data that could be useful but are not open (not yet) and to use them to raise awareness about the digital women’s right to the city.

Despite the snow of the beginning of March made difficult a wide participation, the open data day in Bologna was full of ideas, questions and experiments. In the morning researchers, activists and participants discussed about the data and the tools we have and how we can use them. In the afternoon, the workshop was focused on how to treat the data and on the dangerous correlations, the misuse of statistics and about the need of tools and training to monitor through the use of open data activities, work opportunities, gender inequalities both work conditions and in services delivery and, generally speaking, in power balance among genders.

Speakers and participants agreed that is fundamental to continuously raise awareness in the public and the political debate on the specific rights of women. However we all know that awareness drives frustration if you don’t have a voice to recall your right. So the next step of this activities consists in creating empowerment tools and spaces to use the data to obtain actual change in politics and in the city ecosystem.

The first result of this activity was reached only four days after the Open Data Day, during the celebration of the women international day. The City Council of Bologna invited the organizers and participants to present the process and the requests emerged during the discussion at the City Hall. Some of the promoters of the ODD18 in Bologna suspended for a hour their presence at the women’s strike in the central square in front of the City Hall, to enter into the palace to start an open data-driven dialogue with the local decision makers on the women’s digital right to the city.

Stay tuned: the Open Day Day could be everyday, as well as the women’s day.

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