Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia Ukraine/2019/Program story for Midpoint report
Efforts towards closing the gender content gap on Ukrainian Wikipedia
Closing the gender content gap has been an underlying notion in various projects we conducted over the first half of 2019. Thus, this program story is about the combined effect in closing gender content gap achieved by projects of different origins (all of them described in the respective sections of the Midpoint report).
We started targeting closing the gender content gap in 2017 when the thematic month “Ladies in Red” became the first full-scale project devoted to this topic. It helped achieve good results in terms of numbers (484 articles about women created or expanded), but, more importantly, it brought attention to this topic, with some Ukrainian Wikipedians claiming this was the first time they realized the problem existed. Since that time, efforts towards bridging gender content gap have been increasingly intertwined with a number of projects and programs of Wikimedia Ukraine.
While closing gender content gap is not listed as a major priority in WMUA grant activities for 2019, one of the objectives for our Content Enrichment program is stated as follows: “to improve Wikipedia's coverage of topics that were identified by the community”. We are delighted to observe that gender content gap is naturally perceived as a priority by our broad community, and we have both volunteers who initiate events and projects in order to close this gap on-wiki, and partners who approach us with their support of such projects.
The list of activities related to this topic includes:
- WikiGap. In March, we joined the WikiGap initiative for the second time. In partnership with the Swedish Embassy in Ukraine and the UNFPA Office in Ukraine, Wikimedia Ukraine held three simultaneous offline events across Ukraine (in the capital city of Kyiv, Lviv in Western Ukraine and Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine), which is a step forward compared to only one location in 2018. As well as in 2018, 2019 edition was also a one-time workshop where participants mostly translated existing Wikipedia articles about notable women from other languages or expanded articles on Ukrainian Wikipedia. As a result, 91 users created or significantly expanded 186 articles, and 86 people attended one of the three events (with many of them, but not all, creating articles).
- WikiGap Challenge. The WikiGap event was well received by the participants and led us to promoting the international online event, WikiGap Challenge through our social media and also offline, such as at the workshop “Women in Wikipedia” in Lviv, which was organised with another partner organisation. Partly due to Wikimedia Ukraine’s efforts, Ukrainians showed strong participation in the challenge: out of ten winners, seven came from Ukrainian Wikipedia, including the 1st place holder. Overall, Ukrainian users created 688 articles about notable women.
- “Women in STEM” Contest. In November 2018, WMUA was approached by UNFPA Office in Ukraine to help organize a contest devoted to women in the STEM fields. UNFPA Office was aware of the format of our previous article contests and offered valuable resources, particularly for promotion. The contest was held in June 2019 and received considerable media attention. As of the date of this report, it is at the stage of evaluating articles, but we can already say that general results met our expectations, with around 500 articles being created and the project receiving good media attention.
- Thematic training sessions. In partnership with small nonprofits, which are focused on gender issues, we held editing events, which were aimed at popularising writing Wikipedia articles about women. They can qualify both for separate events and for promotional ones for bigger projects.
- In Lviv, we held the aforementioned “Women in Wikipedia” workshop which was organized in partnership with NGO “Feminist Workshop” and featured a talk from this organization’s representative.
- In Kryvyi Rih (a city in Eastern Ukraine which is underrepresented among the Ukrainian wikicommunity), there was a training session in the city library, which we co-organised with the “рівні у кривому” (“Equal in Kryvyi”) nonprofit. This event was dedicated to writing articles about women from the CEE region as part of the CEE Spring contest and in line with the international contest’s focus on closing the content gender gap.
- Supporting university course on gender studies. Gender content gap has also received attention within the Education program as we supported educational course “Introduction to Gender Studies” in Kyiv Mohyla Academy, which helped attract 76 articles from around 100 students. It is particularly valuable that a lot of the articles created are devoted to some of the most important figures and topics in gender studies, and thus these articles have steady numbers of daily views, answering to the society's demand for information.
To summarize, we see the results of these dispersed but like-minded efforts. We try to keep track of the numerical results of these efforts, with the most important indicator being the percentage of women's biographies on Ukrainian Wikipedia as compared to men's ones. As of February 15th, 2019, 14.54% of biographies in Ukrainian Wikipedia were about women. This number rose to 15.29 percent as of June 30th. (To compare with prior impact, the “Ladies in Red” project in November 2017 helped shift the proportion of female biographies from 13.69 % to 13.78%).