Jump to content

Grants:Project/Whose Knowledge/VisibleWikiWomen2019/Final

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Report accepted
This report for a Project Grant approved in FY 2018-19 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • To read the approved grant submission describing the plan for this project, please visit Grants:Project/Whose Knowledge/VisibleWikiWomen2019.
  • You may still review or add to the discussion about this report on its talk page.
  • You are welcome to email projectgrants(_AT_)wikimedia.org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.

Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the grantee's project.

Part 1: The Project[edit]


The #VisibleWikiWomen (VWW) campaign ran from March 8 to May 8 2019.

Highlights from this year’s campaign include:

  • 3700 photos of women from around the world were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons at the end of the campaign! After that, the #VisibleWikiWomen category continued to be used, reaching more than 5600 uploaded images so far.
  • 26 partners joined the campaign this year and were essential to add a wide range of women’s images to the Commons.
  • The mini-campaign "Celebrating the colours of #VisibleWikiWomen" from April 22nd to May 2nd added significant focus on images of important women of color, especially black, brown and indigenous women from across the world
  • Some images got a lot of attention. The portrait of Sojourner Truth, for example, was released by the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative, during the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign. According to Smithsonian's Wikipedian in Residence, Truth’s portrait has had hundreds of thousands of views thanks to this campaign.
  • 6 new partners from indigenous communities and organizations are interested in joining the VWW campaign next year.

Project Goals[edit]

  1. Add more diverse and quality images Add 1600 images of women to Wikimedia Commons, with at least ⅓ used on Wikipedia, in at least 3 different languages, within 6 months.
  2. Grow the network of non-Wikimedian partners Engage at least 5 partners from outside Wikimedia in donating images, from at least 4 different countries.
  3. Incorporate images into more edit-a-thons Engage at least 5 edit-a-thons organizers with the commitment of uploading images and/or editing about images already updated in the 2018 and 2019 campaigns, in at least 5 events in 4 different countries.

Project Impact[edit]

Important: The Wikimedia Foundation is no longer collecting Global Metrics for Project Grants. We are currently updating our pages to remove legacy references, but please ignore any that you encounter until we finish.


  1. In the first column of the table below, please copy and paste the measures you selected to help you evaluate your project's success (see the Project Impact section of your proposal). Please use one row for each measure. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please include the number.
  2. In the second column, describe your project's actual results. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please report numerically in this column. Otherwise, write a brief sentence summarizing your output or outcome for this measure.
  3. In the third column, you have the option to provide further explanation as needed. You may also add additional explanation below this table.
Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
Actual result Explanation
At least 5 partners from outside Wikimedia, located in at least 4 different countries, donate images during the campaign 26 partners in total participated in the campaign. 14 partners outside Wikimedia, located in Argentina, Egypt, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Palestine, Syria, Tanzania, and the United States joined us. We believe that this is a very successful result. We were able to achieve this goal due to a systematic effort to contact and build the relationship with each one of our partners.
At least 5 edit-a-thons organizers incorporate VisibleWikiWomen into their existing International Women’s Month plans. Images and/or editing about images already updated in the 2018 and 2019 campaigns, should happen in at least 5 events in 4 different countries. 5 edit-a-thons organizers incorporated VisibleWikiWomen into 8 events in 6 different countries, (Argentina, Brazil, Ghana, Dominican Republic, India, and Uruguay), plus one world wide virtual editathon (Women’s History Month). We are satisfied to have reached this goal. We believe we have achieved this goal thanks to experienced event organizers from the Wikimedia movement (such as Women in Red), and the support we have given to less experienced organizers that have joined the campaign this year.
At least 1600 images of women are added to Wikimedia Commons during the campaign. 3700 images at the end of the campaign (May 2019). This goal has been widely exceeded thanks to the engagement of a broad variety of partners and collaborators, from feminist organizations and cultural institutions, to Wikimedia affiliates and wikiprojects from around the world, plus some really committed Commons users.
At least ⅓ of the images get used on Wikipedia, in at least 3 different languages, within 6 months of the campaign. 25 % of images used in 81 different Wikipedia languages. The number of Wikipedia languages involved, was widely surpassed, but the campaign did not reach the goal of ⅓ distinct images used, although it was not far from achieving it. This could be because the campaign focused on Wikimedia Commons uploads. Adding the images to a Wikipedia articles or Wikidata items is a later step that is not always done by the user who uploaded the file in the first place.


Sojourner Truth (1864). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

Looking back over your whole project, what did you achieve? Tell us the story of your achievements, your results, your outcomes. Focus on inspiring moments, tough challenges, interesting anecdotes or anything that highlights the outcomes of your project. Imagine that you are sharing with a friend about the achievements that matter most to you in your project.

  • This should not be a list of what you did. You will be asked to provide that later in the Methods and Activities section.
  • Consider your original goals as you write your project's story, but don't let them limit you. Your project may have important outcomes you weren't expecting. Please focus on the impact that you believe matters most.

The mission that inspires #VisibleWikiWomen is to make women more visible online. Our goal is to make the faces of important women of the past and present be seen and recognized, to reduce the knowledge gap that hides the achievements of women and erases them from history. Seeing thousands of images of women doing different things, in different places, moments and fields, is a powerful way of disrupting patriarchal and colonized narratives that kept and still keep women invisible throughout history. That is especially true for women of color, who have been systematically erased from history despite their achievements and contributions to local and worldwide communities. They are there, they exist, and you can come here to meet them. And even more: let the world to know about those women through all Wikimedia platforms. The images was used in 81 different Wikipedia languages and projects!

Several initiatives and challenges around women have emerged on Wikimedia projects during the last few years. Most of them have focused on closing the gender gap on Wikipedia. Thanks to the work of groups/projects like Women in Red, WikiWomen, WikiMujeres, Muj(lh)eres Latinoamericanas en Wikimedia, WikiDonne, Editatona, AfroCrowd, Black Lunch Table - just to name a few - we can read the biographies of notable women that had been left out of Wikipedia. Despite the progress on women’s biographies, many women were still invisible on Wikipedia because their biographies didn’t have an image - which is the exact opposite of notable men’s biographies. We believe that invisibility is a form of violence and oppression towards women so we wanted to bring together folks from and outside the movement to tackle this issue in a collective, international, multicultural and multilingual way. That’s why we decided - in partnership with our Wiki friends and allies -  to create a campaign focused on adding women’s images to Wikimedia Commons. The advantage of Commons is that the project allows international collaboration and multilingual participation.

In fact, Whose Knowledge? friends and allies within and outside the Wikimedia movement are essential for a successful campaign, in which the quality and the diversity of images (and who they represent) is even more important than the number of images uploaded. For example, thanks to partnerships with cultural institutions, such as the Smithsonian, high-quality historical images were shared in Commons. At the same time, the campaign focus on women of color. VWW was an additional incentive for the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative team to upload a more diverse collection of portraits, highlighting women of color, such as activist Sojourner Truth.

Another key aspect of this campaign is that we have used multiple channels to engage multiple audiences and allies, especially groups and individuals of Wikimedia. Although our main objective was to illustrate Wikipedia, we have used other platforms, such as Whose Knowledge? website and blog, our periodic newsletters and social media channels - to share the images uploaded to Commons. To celebrate the incredible women who can now be visible on Wikipedia, we have created a collection of printable postcards and have distributed them around the world every time we get the chance. All this contributes to the visibility and use of the images across Wikimedia projects while also increases the awareness around the achievements and influence of the portrayed women. A good example of that is the post about Petronila Infantes. In this post, we shared the story of this important Bolivian trade unionist along with the story of how we found out that her image is in the public domain.


If you used surveys to evaluate the success of your project, please provide a link(s) in this section, then briefly summarize your survey results in your own words. Include three interesting outputs or outcomes that the survey revealed.


Is there another way you would prefer to communicate the actual results of your project, as you understand them? You can do that here!

Methods and activities[edit]

Please provide a list of the main methods and activities through which you completed your project.

1) Partnerships: We re-established connections with last year’s campaign partners and also sought them partners for the second edition of our campaign. We have partnered with Wikimedia movement organizations, feminist and activist groups and cultural/GLAM institutions from around the world with special focus in the Global South. In order to connect with potential partners, we created a database of 50 people and institutions around the world. We sent invitations to collaborate and scheduled meetings with those who decided to join the campaign - 26 partners in total. To establish collaboration agreements, we shared an online document with each partner, including general information and notes, ideas for working together and next steps, with precise tasks assigned to each part. In addition to that, we created a mailing list to communicate with partners.

2) Communications: To make sure we were communicating in simple yet effective ways, we created a new campaign logo and a landing page for the campaign on WhoseKnowledge?’ website. In addition, we updated the Meta page information, the Upload Wizard and the Campaign Page on Wikimedia Commons. During the campaign, we published a series of blogposts, newsletters and podcasts, and shared content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. All content was shared on Spanish, English and Portuguese. We created a social media grid to organize the communication flow for different networks and languages. Beyond disseminating the project on a daily basis, we did some special actions in social media, such as a countdown to the launch of the campaign, and the mini-campaign "Celebrating the colours of #VisibleWikiWomen".

3) Resources: During our pilot edition in 2018, we developed a resource’s kit to support #VisibleWikiWomen partners and individual contributors. For the 2019 edition we updated the kit, including changing the visual design and rewriting several parts of it to make sure organizations and people outside of the Wikimedia movement would be able to participate in the campaign. Spanish and English resources were updated and Portuguese was added as a new language of our kit. We also started the development of new resources for cultural and memory institutions, and for edit-a-thons organizers.

Project resources[edit]

Please provide links to all public, online documents and other artifacts that you created during the course of this project. Even if you have linked to them elsewhere in this report, this section serves as a centralized archive for everything you created during your project. Examples include: meeting notes, participant lists, photos or graphics uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, template messages sent to participants, wiki pages, social media (Facebook groups, Twitter accounts), datasets, surveys, questionnaires, code repositories... If possible, include a brief summary with each link.

Illustrated guide of 5 steps to upload images to Wikipedia Commons.


The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you took enough risks in your project to have learned something really interesting! Think about what recommendations you have for others who may follow in your footsteps, and use the below sections to describe what worked and what didn’t.

What worked well[edit]

What did you try that was successful and you'd recommend others do? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.

What didn’t work[edit]

What did you try that you learned didn't work? What would you think about doing differently in the future? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • Most images uploaded during the campaign are illustrating articles on English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French and Arab Wikipedias. Logically, larger projects have more biographies to be illustrated and users to do the job. But we still would like to see these images to be added to the majority of Wikipedia languages in the next editions.
  • We had planned to financially support edit-a-thons organizers, but unfortunately only one partner has requested and used that resource. For the next edition, we have to rethink how to better offer those resources to support our partners’s local activities. 

Other recommendations[edit]

If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please list them here.

  • To Wikimedia Commons campaign organizers, we recommend them to focus on marginalized communities within their main campaigns. In our case, we have decided to experiment and create the #WomenofColors mini campaign as a special initiave as part of the main #VisibleWikiWomen campaign this year.

Next steps and opportunities[edit]

Are there opportunities for future growth of this project, or new areas you have uncovered in the course of this grant that could be fruitful for more exploration (either by yourself, or others)? What ideas or suggestions do you have for future projects based on the work you’ve completed? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • New partnerships with indigeous communities and organizations.
  • More partnerships with memory and cultural institutions from the Global South.

Part 2: The Grant[edit]


Actual spending[edit]

Please copy and paste the completed table from your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed the actual expenditures compared with what was originally planned. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided to explain them.

Expense Approved amount Actual funds spent Difference
VisibleWikiWomen Coordinator 14400 USD 16423 (payments) + 90 (bank wire fees) USD we had approval to reallocate other underspend to this, so that our coordinator could spend more time working with partners post-campaign
Communications Lead 7200 USD 7170 (payment) + 90 (bank wire fees) USD
Swag 800 USD 815.61 USD
Edit-a-thon support 800 USD 15.10 USD significant underspend because most edit-a-thon organizers already had their own budgets for this
Travel 3000 USD 1616.20 USD significant underspend because we traveled to only 1 international event, all other travel was local
WK? Project management 3930 USD 3930 USD
Fiscal sponsor fee 2260 USD 2260 USD
Total 32390 USD 32409.91 USD -19.91 USD

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any unspent funds from the grant?

Please answer yes or no. If yes, list the amount you did not use and explain why.

  • no

If you have unspent funds, they must be returned to WMF. Please see the instructions for returning unspent funds and indicate here if this is still in progress, or if this is already completed:

  • there's nothing to return, we overspent by about $20, so let's call it even :)


Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grantsadmin(_AT_)wikimedia.org, according to the guidelines here?

Please answer yes or no. If no, include an explanation.

  • yes

Confirmation of project status[edit]

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?

Please answer yes or no.

  • yes

Is your project completed?

Please answer yes or no.

  • yes

Grantee reflection[edit]

This year's campaign was a great success! Thanks for the supporting in 2019 - would love to have it again in 2020.