Empowering Women Through Wikipedia: My Experience at Wiki Women Camp in India

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Hello, everyone! I’m Amal Ramadan, a Senior Community Relations Specialist at the Wikimedia Foundation. I recently had the incredible opportunity to attend the Wiki Women Camp in Delhi, India, from 19-22 October, with the theme of “Map Up, Rise Up.”

I had the privilege of sharing the power of Wikipedia’s mobile applications to empower women globally.

The camp was a remarkable experience, bringing together women from diverse backgrounds and regions, all united by a common goal: to amplify their voices and make a meaningful impact on the world. These women, despite their numerous responsibilities, have chosen to dedicate their time to creating positive change.

The primary focus was to bridge the gender gap, and this was clear through the type of sessions and presentations that were presented during the camp, including:
A gender sensitivity workshop, Community Story, Collaborations and Partnerships Workshop, and Engagement Plan Commitment.
I had the honor of presenting Wikipedia’s mobile applications as a valuable tool for our female readers, editors, and community members; you can check my full presentation from this link on Commons. The Wikipedia apps provide a way for women to be a part of sharing human knowledge. They can edit articles, have patroller rights, and make suggested edits—all while on the move.

Specifically, the suggested edits feature on the Android version of the app offers a various set of opportunities for women editors and contributors:

  • Article Description: A way to provide concise and informative summaries for articles, helping readers get the subject at a glance. This ensures that information is presented in a clear and accessible manner.
  • Article Images: Contributors can enhance Wikipedia articles by suggesting relevant images that add visual context and more explanation to the content, enriching the overall user experience.
  • Image Captions: By contributing descriptive captions to images, editors play a crucial role in providing readers with a better understanding of the meaning and context behind visual elements within articles.
  • Image Tags: The suggested edits feature allows custom tags to be added to the images, making it easier for users to search and discover relevant visual content on Wikipedia.

It’s important to note that while these suggested edits are currently available for the Android version, they are expected to be made accessible to iOS users and released in the LATAM region in March 2024. The global release is anticipated to follow in June 2024. This expansion ensures that women contributors worldwide can actively participate in shaping and enriching Wikipedia’s content through these valuable editing features.

The Wikimedia apps are designed to seamlessly fit into users’ busy days, considering various responsibilities such as work and family duties. One of our app users even shared that she uses the article images on the Android version as a kind of game during her transportation time or while waiting at the doctor’s clinic.

The cultural exchange was equally enriching. India, with its rich history, served as an inspiring backdrop for the collective efforts of women, both young and old, to effect change in their communities. It was an overwhelming experience to witness this fusion of history and contemporary female empowerment.

One of the highlights of my trip was meeting Sumita Roy. She shared her passion for photography- check her YouTube channel here from this link – and her active involvement in Wikimedia projects like Bangla Wikipedia, English Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Commons. She also participated in Wiki Loves Folklore when it started as Wiki Loves Love in India.

Sumita introduced herself as an amateur photographer, nature lover, and a Wikipedian; that’s why most of her contributions are around photographing nature and uploading them on Commons with this category: Birds near Jamnagar railway station and Category: Quality images as examples. Regardless of the years she has lived, she continues to hunger for knowledge and achievements, serving as an example of determination, and this can be shown in her participation during the workshops that we attended together at the camp.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have been a part of this experience, and I am excited about the positive impact that the collective efforts of these amazing women will have on our world. The future is bright, and Wikimedia volunteers remain an essential tool for achieving this transformation through their work, adding and curating content that anyone can access, for free, anywhere on the planet.

And you can be updated to the Wikimedia apps newsletter by subscribing to its link on Meta as well.

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