Women for Sustainability Africa joined Wiki Women in Red @8 _ Empowering Women with Digital Skills through Wikipedia – Part 1

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In a world where women’s voices are crucial for creating a more inclusive and sustainable future, prioritizing women’s participation in the tech space is essential. Empowering women with the tools, skills, and support they need to engage actively is imperative. This responsibility extends to the Wikimedia ecosystem, including Wikipedia and its sibling projects. Currently, only 9% of Wikipedia editors are women, highlighting a significant gender gap that impacts the diversity of information available on Wikimedia platforms. The systemic gender bias is evident, with fewer than one in five biographies featuring women. Additionally, only 20% of articles about women include photos.

As part of the Wiki Women in Red @8 campaign in 2023, we collaborated with various organizations, such as the University of Professional Studies Office of the Women’s Commissioner and the former Women’s Commissioner for the University of Ghana to conduct a series of workshops and Trainings. These workshops educated and empowered women especially with Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons Skills. We hosted 2 in-person events and 4 virtual training and office hour sessions. Here are some highlights:

Workshop 1

The first workshop was hosted for women from the Women for Sustainability Africa Community: We hosted a five-hour boot camp workshop for our community and was attended by 20 participants of which 18 were women. The training focused on Wikipedia editing, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata. Majority of the participants were newbies whom we guided on how to make edits to existing wikipedia articles, and also showed them how to upload photos on Wikimedia commons as well as create article on Wikidata.

Workshop 2 with University of Professional Studies SRC Women’s Commission

The second training was held in collaboration with the SRC office of the Women’s Commission on Sat 1st Dec 2023 which trained about 34 students 20 of which were women.  The training was very interactive as students ask a lot of questions. Awards were given to participants who were able to contribute example create Wikidata items, upload an image or edit and existing wikipedia article. Students were eager and almost all of them had something to go home with which was really fulfilling.

Link to Video Testimonials of participants after the event – https://youtu.be/K4_BQPGTgKw

Short videos

Virtual Trainings

Following the in-person training, participants received a series of virtual training sessions as well as one-on-one help from mentors. We had a seasoned Wikipedian who assisted us throughout the campaign and provided us with one-on-one mentoring. 

We organized online sessions on

All of these training sessions were recorded and uploaded on our Youtube channel to serve as a resource and also for the benefit of those who could not participate in all the trainings. These Youtube recordings have gained several views. You can find all the recordings on this playlist here. We also created training resources in the form of presentation slides. 

During the workshop we realized that most of the participants, although aware of Wikipedia, did not know much about what goes into it, left alone to think of it as something that anyone can just contribute to. They were also not aware that Wikipedia had other sister projects. We educated them about wikipedia sister projects and how they can make use of them as well as contribute to them. The workshop also educated participants about the knowledge gap that existed on Wikipedia. They also learned about Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons during the training as these are also vital areas of contributing.

Because the majority were new editors we focused more on supporting them to make small edits like creating or improving Wikidata Items. 

During the practical sessions for instance some of the women although didn’t not submit photos of women during the training session, rather as a way of practicing uploaded other existing photos they had of an event, food etc to gain that practical experience.

Some of the interesting highlights were articles that were created about the two Ghanaian women who made headlines in Ghana by participating in the Guinness Records for longest singing time and Longest cooking time. Thus Afua Asantewaa and Failatu Razak, which was contested, eventually got deleted after several debates.

The mentorship opportunity incorporated in the program offered participants the opportunity to book one on one meetings with experienced editors. Some of the things mentees wanted to learn was to understand the wikimedia ecosystem and how it works. Participants who took part in the mentorship were either journalist or students. Although we met some challenges we were able to mentor 10 participants as part of the campaign activities.

Other opportunities that were shared on our Wikipedia group which attracted close to 150 participants to our Wiki Community and Currently have close to 300. Since the campaign we have actively shared other movement opportunities with them such as Lets Connect meetings and other training workshop to sustain their interest. We hope to continue to bring rich capacity building opportunities to the community to sustain their commitment and interest as most of them are new to the community.


Link to Meta pagehttps://rb.gy/5dd6hj

Photo Category on Commons- https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Women_in_Red_2023

Registration Tools Used

   We used various lists. We created our own list and also made available a red list from Wiki Women in Red Page.

Campaign Dashboard

Testimonial Video

Training Videos Play List

Short videos

For English Wikipedia most of the edits contributed was improving and expanding existing articles.

In the Height of the Guinness World Record breaking in Ghana we had some participants writing about the contestant Asantewaa and Failatu, However the Failatu article was contested for deletion and eventually got deleted.


In the part 2 of this article we will highlight some of the outcomes, challenges and opportunities we had during the campaign. Stay tune.

In the mean time you can follow us on our social media handles: Website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tick Tock, Spotify, Youtube.

Photo by CoachAni, CC BY-SA 4.0

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