WikiFemHack was a one-day event in October held to explore and address the gender gap and gender bias on Wikipedia issues.
Organised by Wikimedia User Group Greece—in collaboration with SheSharp, a female-oriented IT group, and the Open Knowledge Foundation of Greece—the event focused on finding the roots of these serious issues and coming up with ways to mitigate them.
The main goal was to welcome women, inform them and increase their participation in the technological and programming fields, in addition to Wikipedia.
During the event, the audience was divided into two room. In the first, talks from Greek and international researchers about Wikipedia’s gender gap were held. Speakers informed the participants about community projects that women can join to help boost gender diversity, like Thesswiki, Wiki Loves Women, WikiWomenCamp, Women in Red, and others.
Simultaneously, the second room’s audience attended an editathon (editing workshop) on the Greek Wikipedia and a hackathon, where community programmers and volunteers were there to support the participants. The editathon aimed at creating and translating female profiles using information from Wikidata and other sources. The hackathon was more of an introductory developing session where the participants were given certain programming tasks in Python with an open part with API and PHP.
At the closing of WikiFemHack, we gave out awards to the participants with the best contributions including a laptop, an Arduino kit, a usb stick, free tickets to for Voxxed Days Thessaloniki and more. Near the end of the event, results from the Why Women Don’t Edit Wikipedia research about the gender gap in Greece were presented.
WikiFemHack was targeted to designers, scientists, educators, undergraduate and graduate students with near zero experience in similar projects. The goal was to inform the participants and for them to exchange views so we could, through conversation, take a step towards mitigating the Gender Gap in Technology.
Some of the attendees did not even know they could edit Wikipedia, so taking the time to explain the projects that were presented in an informal fashion helped everyone to get a better grasp of the talks that were hosted.
Everyone had the chance to learn about the policies and code behind Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects, enrich the Greek Wikipedia with content and also use their coding skills.
WikiFemHack was free to attend, and the organizers provided support throughout the event and follow-up emails were sent later to help keep them posted with community updates.
The general feedback was highly positive and the event is most likely to be repeated next year. WikiFemHack was based on the positive experience we had in ThessHack and a gender gap editathon organized by the user group in 2016.
Marios Magioladitis, Wikimedia Community User Group Greece
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