The “Halt! Women Making History” campaign has ended

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Originally published 8 May 2024 by Lucia Medina WMAR and TCappelletto WMF

During the month of March, as part of International Women’s Day, the Halt! Women Making History  campaign took place in Wikimedia projects in Spanish and Portuguese. The goal of this initiative was to reduce the gender gap seen in Wikimedia projects, to provide visibility to women who have fought and continue to fight for human rights.

De Puyatika – CC BY-SA 4.0

Several organizations based in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula promoted the “Halt! Women Making History” campaign in response to the lack of content about women, and their low participation in Wikimedia projects and communities. The campaign aimed to increase the quantity and quality of Wikipedia articles about women’s movements, organizations and women who made history, as well as to ensure that images are available to document these articles.

The Campaign in Numbers

To achieve these goals, all those who participated in the campaign were encouraged to edit Wikimedia projects, with new groups also being encouraged to participate in order to enrich the debate about women as historical agents and builders of social, cultural, and political processes.

In addition to editing activities in Wikimedia projects, as a way of contributing content to this ecosystem, local activities were carried out in several countries to celebrate the struggles of women in their diversity.

Some facts about the Halt! Women Making History campaign:

  • It was co-carried out by 21 organizations
  • Bilingual Spanish and Portuguese coordination and publicity
  • 404 people registered as participants on the Meta event page
  • The list of articles to be created or expanded was made available in 20 regional languages
  • More than 40 activities were carried out in 12 countries in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula
  • More than 173 articles were created in the Spanish and Portuguese Wikipedias
  • More than 808 articles were improved in the Spanish and Portuguese Wikipedias
  • More than 290 original images and over 4,400 archival images were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons 
  • More than 350 items were created and improved on Wikidata

Beyond Metrics: Lessons Learned from the Campaign

The campaign organizers considered the metrics for this edition to be very satisfactory, but, going beyond the numbers, also decided to collectively reflect on the different ways in which we carry out campaigns in Wikimedia projects, and their impacts. Below we share some of these reflections with the entire Wikimedia movement, so that the lessons learned can be passed on to other groups and to future campaigns focused on reducing the gender gap.

We realized that when promoting significant contributions towards reducing the gender gap in Wikimedia projects we must also question the logic of quantity, of abundance as a value in and of itself. Although, on the one hand, the competition held on Wikimedia Commons had a good response in terms of quantity of images, on the other hand, we saw that some other possibilities, such as the insertion of structured data, were not being fully explored. For future campaigns, we would like to promote these edits and also acknowledge the time that editors dedicate to selecting, naming, describing, categorizing, and adding items to Wikidata. To make women who make history more visible in an effective manner, these contributions are as important as the images themselves, since they facilitate the search for these files in repositories, and therefore their use in other projects.

We also found out that promoting such a large number of territorial activities that were scheduled within the scope of the campaign, more than 40 activities in 12 countries, is no easy task. The campaign page on Meta had a huge number of visits and registrations, but we know that territorial activities in each country are key to attracting new editors and ensure their continued participation. Furthermore, another impact, perhaps less visible in terms of numbers but nevertheless very relevant, that occurred within the scope of the campaign, is the strengthening of local alliances in each territory, representing the consolidation of ties between Wikimedia organizations and their communities.

This is why we believe that when it comes to reducing knowledge gaps, it is essential to keep in mind that the number of contributions is not, in and of itself, a value, and that providing support to editors in the way that they want and can contribute, will sometimes require a slower pace and greater depth in terms of processes, even if this does not generate measurable numbers that describe the impact in metrics.

Halt! Women Making History was a campaign co-carried out by: Wikimedia Argentina, Wikimedistas de Bolivia, Wikimedia Colombia, Cuarto Propio en Wikipedia, Wikimedistas El Salvador, Wikimedia España, Wikimedia México, WikiAcción Perú, Wikimedistas de Uruguay, Wikimedia Venezuela, Art+Feminism, Mujeres Latinoamericanas en Wikimedia, Whose Knowledge?, Wikimedia Chile, Wikimujeres,Wiki Editoras Lx, Mais Teoria da História na Wiki, Wiki Mulheres+, Wikimedia LGBT+, Wikiesfera, Ennegreciendo Wikipedia.

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