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News — 10 March, 2023

Women, maps and data: a conversation for International Women's Day

A group of brilliant Latin American women expose us to various projects and tell us about various experiences in the use of maps and data, and also about their absence.

Within the framework of International Women’s Day 2023, the Open Mapping Hub of Latin America and the Caribbean jointly organized with the OpenLabEc the conversation called “Women, Maps and Data”, which was held on Thursday, March 9.

The event had the participation of a multidisciplinary panel of speakers who, from their different professional experiences, contributed enriching perspectives to the already broad theme of maps and data worked by women. The event was hosted by Maria Encalada from OpenLabEc.

Below is a brief summary of the interventions carried out:

Ana Aguilera

Specialist in Social Management and Development from the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, and Geographical Engineer in Territorial Planning from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. She has been part of several projects with national and international organizations that promote social development. Interested in the transversality of participatory processes to social management, development, urban studies, data analytics and gender equality. She is part of Datalat.

Ana presented the project ¿What about us in the streets? focused on an analysis of the names of the streets of Quito. The project questions how cities have been built and reflects on the lack of presence of women in their historical memory.

An interesting fact resulting from the analysis carried out is that streets named after women represent only 4% of the total 5,500 km of streets in Quito city.

Karen Fonseca

Industrial designer at Data sketch, graduated from Bogota University Jorge Tadeo Lozano, with experience in managing illustration, editing and 3D modeling programs. Expert in turning data into art through products with the purpose of disseminating, generating conversations and making an impact.

Karen spoke of her work as a designer and how the conjunction of design and data allows her to graph in a single image the rights that women have obtained, which ones they are working on and what their next goals will be

Then she briefly shared with us other projects focused on products such as Latam bike paths, based on maps of bikeways in several Latin American cities, and the one on the cultural agenda.

Catalina Restrepo

Professional in Social Work from UDEA. Specialist in municipal public administration and consultant on issues of Human Rights, Rurality, Vulnerable Communities and Public administration, for regional and local governments and international cooperation. Talent Woman of the city of Medellín (2009) in the category of social and political leadership, as leader of the citizen journalism project HiperBarrio.

Catalina shared various experiences obtained throughout her professional practice, of which she offers data such as the absence of female personnel with data and maps technical knowledge in almost all of the rural municipalities that she has had to visit, or the importance of visualizing data on maps for a better administration of the resources that international cooperation and regional governments provide in remote locations.

Finally, she reflected on the importance of taking into account women’s and peasant knowledge in data collection done with technological tools that these populations often do not know how to use.

Gabriela Flores

Co-founder and Director of Japiqay. Bachelor of Social Communication from the Univ. Mayor de San Marcos. A mom since 10 years ago. With almost 20 years of experience in journalistic investigation on issues of corruption, human rights, contracting and public policies. “Convinced that we can defeat corruption and impunity if we do it together.”

Gabriela presented the projects she has worked on in Japiqay - which means “to keep in memory” in Quechua -, mainly Memory and Citizenship, a platform that brings together more than 2,000 files related to corruption cases in Peru over the last forty years.

She also talked about the project From the number to the face, which shows the real impact that corruption has on the rights and lives of Peruvians; Likewise, it identifies the political, economic and/or social actors that operate in favor of impunity in cases of corruption.

The event concluded with a round of questions that focused on the importance and possibilities of maps in all these perspectives of the female experience in the use of various technologies and data.

And although at first impression it seems that topics such as design, public administration or the fight against corruption are a bit alien to maps, the speakers in this conversation clearly demonstrated that they are fields with many possibilities for open maps and the various tools that facilitate its use to be applied.

Finally, here you have the video of the conversation so that you can appreciate for yourself the interventions of each of the participants.