Women’s day celebrations 2024 – SheLeads and WITc

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“நிமிர்ந்த நன்னடை நேர்கொண்ட பார்வையும்,
நிலத்தில் யார்க்கும் அஞ்சாத நெறிகளும்,
திமிர்ந்த ஞானச் செருக்கும் இருப்பதால்
செம்மை மாதர் திறம்புவ தில்லையாம்;
அமிழ்ந்து பேரிரு ளாமறி யாமையில்
அவல மெய்திக் கலையின் றி வாழ்வதை
உமிழ்ந்து தள்ளுதல் பெண்ணற மாகுமாம்
உதய கன்ன உரைப்பது கேட்டிரோ!”

-மகாகவி பாரதியார்

March 08, 2024 – Widely recognised as International Women’s day is celebrated across everywhere to celebrate and recognise the women participation and womanhood across all spheres. This year the Women In Tech collectives, India along with the CIS-A2K hosted an event at Dr. GR Damodharan college of Science, Coimbatore under the A2K’s SheLeads program. This session was attended by 70 students from Computer Science background and 5 faculty members from the same department.

This program was focussed to bring general awareness on women’s health and wellness and how this is represented on Wikimedia projects. The Wikipedia and sister projects of Wikimedia being a source for various forms of Open Knowledge but has certain gaps on content focussed on Women’s Health and Women biographies. In the session we covered topics where the attendees can contribute to Wikimedia and how they can sustain their contributions to the movement. The audience being majorly identified as women there was a large interest to understand the challenges and approach to get started with the first time contributions on Wikimedia projects. Each of them created their new accounts on Wikipedia and explored their areas of interest, a few who already had their accounts registered on Wiki suggested how they wanted to improve articles and contribute to the above projects.

User: Bhuvana Meenakshi mentored the students on Wikimedia Commons and CC licences and how to specifically contribute to projects that need focus on women-based articles/projects which has content gap. Followed by this User: Netha Hussain joined the program remotely from Sweden to share her experiences of her journey in getting started with Wikimedia projects and her motive to initiate the project on WikiProject Women’s Health. The students interacted well and responded actively to the content delivered by the speakers and mentors.

Towards the end of the event we had a small ceremony to celebrate the occasion of Women’s day and paid gratitude to all the women who have done invaluable contributions to the Open Source and Open Knowledge movements.

This event has been helped the new-comers to get introduced to Wikimedia Commons and other Wikimedia projects. Almost 60% of the participants were identified as women and they have a fundamental understanding of basic editing on local Wikipedia pages. An overall discussion on how the knowledge and skill gaps occur among various gender groups in general and on Wikimedia was also facilitated and the observations were made on the same.

Also this does not end here, we are also brainstorming on different opportunities that can be facilitated to the students of the college and also the Institution with the support of Wikimedia Foundation to take this project on a long term and continue the contributions to the movement.

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