Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/Gender gap hackathon held in Greece
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A full-day Wikimedia event called WikiFemHack was organised by Wikimedia User Group Greece, on the 7th of October, in cooperation with SheSharp, a female oriented IT group, and the Open Knowledge Greece.
The event showcased gender gap and gender bias on Wikipedia. It focused on finding the roots of these phenomena and ways to mitigate them. Among others, the main goal was to welcome women, inform them and increase their participation in technology, programming and in Wikipedia.
It had two constituents. In the first room there were talks from Greek and international researchers about Gender Gap in Wikipedia and also community projects that women could participate in like Thesswiki, Wiki Loves Women, WikiWomenCamp, Women in Red, etc. Some talks were given in person while others via video conference.
At the same time, in the second room an editathon on Greek Wikipedia and a Hackathon took place. The attendees had continuous support from Wikimedia programmers and volunteers. The editathon aimed on creating or translating female biographies based on information found on Wikidata and other sources. The hackathon had a more introductionary character. The participants were given certain programming tasks on Python whle ther was also an open part with API and PHP. At the closing of WikiFemHack we gave out awards to the participants with the most valuable contributions (a laptop, an Arduino kit, a usb stick, free tickets to for Voxxed Days Thessaloniki and more).
Near the end of the event the results of the "Why Women Don't Edit Wikipedia?", research in Greece about gender gap that is funded by the Wikimedia Foundation, were presented.
WikiFemHack aimed at designers, scientists, educators, students and graduate and PhD students with (almost) no experience in similar projects. The aim was to inform and exchange views and opinions so we could, through conversation, take a step towards mitigating the Gender Gap in Technology. Everyone that attended had the chance to learn about the rules and code behind Wikipedia and the rest of the Wikimedia Foundation projects, enrich the Greek Wikipedia with content and also show off their coding skills.
WikiFemHack was based on the positive experience we had in ThessHack and a gender gap editathon organised by the user group in 2016.
The event lasted nine and a half hours, from 9:30 to 19:00. It was free to attend. We provided support during the event and follow-up emails were sent. We succeeded in introducing newcomers to the Wikimedia movement and its different projects taking into account that most likely they know nothing about the movement and its initiatives. Some of the attendees did not even know they could edit Wikipedia, so taking the time to explain the projects that were presented in an informal fashion helped everyone to get a better grasp of the talks that were hosted. The general feedback was highly positive and the event is most likely to be repeated next year.
Marios Magioladitis, Wikimedia Community User Group Greece