International Women’s Day: Meet Geoladies PH

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day (IWD)–the perfect time to celebrate* the many women in OSM, as well as the contributions they make to the map and the community. And what better way to do this than to put a couple of these ladies in the spotlight: Geoladies PH.

(*Psssst: want to join other members of the community in honoring IWD? Scroll down to the end of this post for a list of celebratory mapping events you can still sign up for.)

The Philippine Geoladies group was established in 2019, when they held their first workshop at the Pista ng Mapa conference in Dumaguete. They “advocate for community diversity, collaborative participation, and affirmative spaces, especially for women and under-represented communities”. We had a chat with the core team to learn about all the activities they’re doing to work towards this goal.

Charmyne Mamador is leading Ausome Maps, a project funded by She Leads and She Inspires (SLSI). The SLSI program was launched by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s (HOT) Open Mapping Hub – Asia Pacific at the end of 2021 and helped 100 women in multiple countries grow as leaders within their open mapping communities. Over the course of 6 months, they received training, mentoring and guidance in creating and leading a community project. At the end of the program, ten of these projects received funding, including Ausome Maps. The goal of Ausome is to map schools with special education (SPED) classes and therapy clinics in the Philippines. This will help the families of differently abled children find the support they need.

Another core member of Geoladies PH is Leigh Lunas, known as the group’s drone expert. She teaches students how to code and fly drones. Currently she is involved in the Bahaghari Maps initiative, aimed at creating usable trail maps for Philippine hikers.

Feye Andal is Geoladies’ Disaster Response Mapper and serves as a Regional Ambassador for YouthMappers in the Asia Pacific region. (Fun fact: in 2022, 45% of YouthMappers were women.) Recently Feye has been working with the UPRI (University of the Philippines Resilience Institute) YouthMappers on mapping and validating the areas affected by the Turkey and Syria earthquake.

Next up is Geolady Jen Alconis. One of her main projects has been to map all publicly accessible breastfeeding stations in the Philippines. This way, she could give back to her breastfeeding support group, but also to fellow mothers in general.

Geoladies PH member Andi Tabinas is the founder of Mental Health AWHEREness PH, a non-profit organization promoting mental health awareness through information, education, communication, and mapping mental health facilities and services.

Last but not least is Arnalie Vicario. Like her fellow ladies, she’s an advocate for diversity and inclusion, as well as for sustainable living and, at the end of 2022, she was one of the women elected to the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board.

Interested in learning even more about Geoladies PH? Check out their Facebook page.

Feel like meeting the ladies in real life? They regularly organize sessions and workshops to empower women to map. Tomorrow, on International Women’s Day, you will find them at the YouthMappers-organized Everywhere She Maps event in Manila (as well as online).

Of course, this is not the only mapping event dedicated to IWD. Below are some more opportunities to celebrate our female community members.

Want to find out how the rest of the world is honoring this special day? For the third year, Geochicas and Feminist International have created a global map of actions and activities around International Women’s Day. If you would like an event to be added, please share the details including the exact location with the Geochicas Twitter account.

Who map the world? Girls!

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