Celebrate Women: Highlighting Collaborative Efforts to Close the Gender Gap in March 2024

Translate this post

Every year, across the Wikimedia movement, volunteers gather to contribute to one of the most meaningful efforts in gender equity on Wikipedia and its sister projects: working together to close the gender gap through the Celebrate Women campaign. The campaign represents a “meeting place” on Meta where different organizers can showcase their events and welcome new and established editors to collectively contribute to gender gap activities taking place across the movement during March, or Women’s History Month.

For this year’s campaign, the Wikimedia Foundation will be supporting organizers and volunteers to coordinate our shared efforts at advancing gender equity in our movement. On 19 February, activities kicked off with a Conversation Hour where campaign organizers shared about the building blocks that are required to facilitate collective action to make this year’s Celebrate Women campaign a success. This included:*

  • A practical demonstration on how to contribute to the translation of the Central Notice Banner developed for the campaign, and an invitation to organizers to share their events on the Celebrate Women landing page so that people from across the globe could find a way to help close the gender gap in their region or online. 
  • The details of a Wikimedia Foundation-campaign called “Wikipedia Needs More Women,” which will profile the gender gap efforts of the movement and invite newcomers to join us. The campaign, which starts on 8 March 2024, will target a selection of English-speaking African countries as well as India and facilitate newcomer participation in the Celebrate Women campaign. 
  • The showcasing of campaign priorities from across multilingual campaigns focused on closing the gender gap in March, such as the work of les sans pAges, WikiMulheres and the seminal Women Making History Campaign – the latter which represents one of the first combined Spanish & Portuguese-language campaigns coordinated by a broad array of gender gap organizers from across the movement.
  • Exciting campaigns also included the launch of an exciting partnership focused on women’s health, between Wikimedia Indonesia and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Indonesia, that represents growing work in the movement to work on gender-related topic areas beyond the biographies.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation also profiled a new tool called Event Registration, which is available to wikis that have installed the CampaignEvents extension. Once registration is enabled, participants can register for the event by clicking the “Register” button. Then, the organizers will be able to collect a list of registered event participants, along with optional data on participant demographics. This year, the Foundation will be learning about the scale of the movement’s gender gap activity using the Event Registration tool!
  • Last but not least, we heard from the WikiWomen Camp Community Organizing Team about the Declaration that emerged from the Camp which was held in India, for the first time in eight years, in October 2023. The team also shared details of the next steps for facilitating broad movement input to the Declaration.

As 8 March 2024 marks International Women’s Day, we recognize the amazing work that has been done by volunteers to bring into collective focus the importance of addressing the gender gap. It is only through our shared efforts that we can contribute to making Wikipedia and her sister projects more gender equitable.

Want to join or run campaigns to help close the gender gap during March (and beyond)?

  • Add your event to the events calendar on the Celebrate Women meta
  • Use the event registration tool to run your campaign and help us learn more about the impact of your campaign. Need more information – reach out to campaigns@wikimedia.org for a demo.
  • Participate in local and online events by improving or editing articles
  • Use this social media toolkit to amplify the “Wikipedia Needs More Women” campaign on Instagram, Twitter/X, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Aespinozao, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For more resources about how to contribute to Wikipedia and sister projects during March, see some resources here.

Why the focus on the gender gap?

Wikipedia hosts more than 1.9 million biographies. Less than 20% of those are about women and non-binary people. Citations, pictures and perspectives of women and non-binary people have similar gaps on Wikipedia. If Wikipedia wants to become the sum of human knowledge, this needs to change. With such a large gender gap, we are far from reaching this goal. International Women’s Day is an important moment to remind ourselves of the gender gap for women and all under-represented groups and to renew our efforts to ensure representation of all people. – Celebrate Women

What is the role of the Wikimedia Foundation in closing the gender gap?

In 2023, the Wikimedia Foundation made a commitment to advancing knowledge equity through supporting organizers working on gender to co-create a shared agenda by providing access to technical support, capacity building and spaces for improved coordination. This year, this support has looked like providing backend support for the first ever WikiWomen Summit x Wikimania and WikiWomen Camp – where volunteers from across the movement have come together to articulate shared priorities in the gender space, including through the launch of the WikiWomen Camp Declaration. 

Central to this support for shared strategy development, we have been working with the movement to share stories to inspire newcomers to join the movement’s gender gap efforts (such as the Wikipedia Needs More Women Campaign, or the African Journalism Awards), and to encourage and celebrate Wikimedians by telling the stories of volunteers already contributing to this work (for example, through WikiCelebrate and media outreach).

Furthermore, we have been working to support the adoption of tools and practices that can help organizers working on gender to more nimbly and effectively coordinate the gender work. The popularization of the event registration tool, as one example, is aimed at helping organizers communicate with and understand the needs of editors who join gender gap campaigns. As another example, this year the Organizer Lab focused on training organizers working on gender and sustainability with some of the best practices in campaign design and tooling. Through this and many other efforts and experiments, we hope to make the work of gender organizers easier as a way to hopefully contribute to accelerated, coordinated and sustained efforts at closing the gender gap.

The Celebrate Women campaign is a meaningful and profound collective campaign in our movement. By providing coordination and learning together, the Wikimedia Foundation hopes to make the work of our volunteers working on gender easier and, moving into the new year, identify how we can adapt and iterate our support offering for this important work. While we recognize that there is still so much work to do, we hope that these targeted interventions represent the stepping stones to longer term impact in the gender gap space.

*We would like to give special thanks to our presenters Ciell, Tila Cappelletto, Andi Inácio, Carmen Alcázar, Natacha Rault, and Euphemia Uwandu – and in absentia, recognize the contributions of Wikimedia Indonesia and Netha Hussain. Finally, many thanks to the many organizers across our movement who make this work possible.

Can you help us translate this article?

In order for this article to reach as many people as possible we would like your help. Can you translate this article to get the message out?