Last month, the Wikimedia Blog featured a special collection of stories on women and gender diversity in the Wikimedia movement — to celebrate International Women’s Day and WikiWomen’s History Month.
Our goals for that month’s editorial focus were to show how women around the world are contributing to Wikimedia projects today, to invite more women to participate, and to identify best practices for increasing gender diversity in our communities, as well as in the content we create together.
We published 15 different stories on this theme, ranging from profiles of women who contribute to the Wikimedia movement, to reports about programs that encourage gender diversity, to recommended articles about women on Wikipedia.
Here are the most popular stories we featured this month on this topic:
Here are 11 inspiring profiles of some of the women who actively participate on Wikimedia projects — many of these stories include video interviews. They have very diverse backgrounds and come from different parts of the world, including: a Russian biology student, an Indian math teacher and a Swiss community leader. They all share a passion for knowledge — and see editing as a way to freely share that knowledge with the world. Read more.
Over 75 edit-a-thons were held around the world on International Women’s Day weekend, to improve coverage of women and the arts on Wikipedia. This global effort was organized by the Art+Feminism Campaign in New York. Here is their report on this massive undertaking, which engaged 1,500 participants to help increase gender diversity on Wikimedia projects. Read more.
Here are our favorite biographies of women on Wikipedia, suggested by community and team members. The articles we selected together feature 15 women who made important contributions in the arts, sciences, business and politics. We hope you will find their life stories as inspiring as we do. Read more.
We are more than our sex and more than our gender, and many users want more nuanced options for identifying themselves online. This thoughtful essay gives an overview of sex and gender differences and explores how other sites like Facebook have addressed questions of gender identification. Read more.
Complex issues require collective action. Last month, the Wikimedia Foundation launched the Inspire Campaign, inviting community ideas to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects. In response to this call to action, over 266 ideas were submitted, with 629 people joining the campaign, as outlined in this update. Read more.
The FemWiki project invites women to collaborate to increase gender diversity on the Serbian Wikipedia. Regular workshops help them form friendships, share advice and support each other to write more articles about women and gender issues. Learn more.
Italy is a global leader in the fashion industry. But Italian fashion history is not well covered on Wikipedia. Librarian Virginia Gentilini explains why. She thinks the dearth of Italian fashion articles results from a lack of female writers and editors on Wikipedia — as well as the misconception among some users that fashion is strictly a female topic. Learn more.
Thanks to our contributors
We are very grateful to everyone who made this special series possible!
Special thanks to story authors Juliet Barbara, Siko Bouterse, Tilman Bayer, María Cruz, Siân Evans, Victor Grigas, Michael Guss, Katherine Maher, Amanda Menking, Dorothy Howard, Jacqueline Mabey, Michael Mandiberg, Sanja Pavlovic, Andrew Sherman, Heather Walls and Alex Wang, for taking the time to share your news and ideas with our community.
Together, we featured a diverse collection of insightful stories, which introduced us to some amazing women — and helped surface promising ideas for encouraging more gender diversity in our projects. We hope you learned as much from this exploration as we did.
And our deepest thanks go to all the women featured in these stories: your wonderful contributions and dedication to free knowledge is truly inspiring!
What do you think?
What do you think of this special focus on Women and gender diversity? Was this topic interesting to you? Did you learn anything new?
Should we focus on other monthly themes in the future? If so, which topics would you recommend? Should we do this regularly, or just once in a while?
Please share your comments below — or on the blog talk page.
We look forward to hearing from you, so we can share more stories that match your interests — and help grow and diversify our movement!
Movement Communications Manager