After the eminent success of the previous two editions of the WikiGap edit-a-thons, the Swedish Embassy in Skopje decided to continue with the good practice and decided to hold the event in the second half of the year, which prompted the Macedonian Wikipedia community to look for an alternative in an editing day on “Macedonian women” to commemorate International Women’s Day. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, has taken a toll on the event and led to changing to an online environment. Another novelty was the Gender gap editing week immediately succeeding the online edit-a-thon.
The WikiGap online edit-a-thon
The WikiGap online edit-a-thon was a four-hour event that took place on 30 September using the Zoom platform. At the beginning, introductory speeches to welcome participants were given from representatives of the three partnering organisations — Swedish Embassy, UN Women and Shared Knowledge — followed by a brief training about how to get started with Wikipedia and how to use the content translation tool. The remaining time of the event was dedicated to writing articles on the Macedonian Wikipedia, with participants being mentored by experienced Wikipedians.
Inspired by the persistent efforts that the medics put to tackle the pandemic, the main topic of this year’s event were famous and influential females in the field of medicine. For that purpose, three lists of females in the field were proposed — namely, physicians, pharmacists and dentists. The two-volume Macedonian Encyclopedia, published by the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, was recommended as a useful reference work, while the WikiGapFinder tool and the archive of the Macedonian assembly members were put forth in order to easily get suggestions about topics with non-existing articles on the Macedonian Wikipedia.
Contributions were tracked on the event’s dashboard. A total of 18 participants — mostly female and first-time editors — created 61 and improved 2 articles. More than one half of the edited articles were about local personalities with no articles on any other Wikipedia.
The Gender gap editing week
The Gender gap editing week took place immediately after the conclusion of the online edit-a-thon and its scope covered famous Swedish and Macedonian women. Besides the Swedish embassy in Skopje and Shared Knowledge, the initiative was additionally supported by two other organisations — the National Youth Council of Macedonia and MladiHub — and was organised on a competitive basis.
In a similar way as for the online edit-a-thon, contributions were tracked on the initiative’s dashboard. A total of 8 participants — all female — enriched the Macedonian Wikipedia with 477 new and 37 improved articles. The top three contributors according to the total number of bytes added were invited for a Nobel dinner with the Swedish ambassador and received in-kind prizes in the form of trainings for acquiring advanced IT, digital and business skills for the top three participants.