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Women For Sustainability Africa Wikimedia Activities/Women In Red

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W4SAfrica Wiki Women in Red Workshop/Mentorship Program[edit]

Women representation on Wikipedia

Recognizing the indispensable role of women's participation and empowerment in our society, it is imperative to equip them with the skills required to empower their participation and contribution. The Wikimedia ecosystem, encompassing Wikipedia and its sister projects, is no exception to this necessity. With just 9% of Wikipedians editors being women, there is a noticeable gender imbalance that significantly shapes the content available on these Wikimedia platforms. This systematic gender bias amongst wikipedia editors has led to the low representation of women on Wikipedia. For every 5 biographies one is about a woman. Even with the 25% biographies of women representation only 20% of the total women have photos attached to their articles. 

Women in Red

In response to this challenge and with the intention to enrich the diversity of Wikimedia content, there is the need to empower more women to be part of the Wikimedia Ecosystem. Women for Sustainability Africa presents Women in Red Wiki Training. The project aims to empower a network of young women by providing them with the tools, knowledge, and resources needed to become active participants of the Wikimedia community. Our goal is to celebrate the Wiki Women In Red Anniversary while fostering a more inclusive Wikimedia community.

What is Wiki Women in Red?[edit]

Women in Red is a WikiProject addressing the current gender bias in Wikipedia content. The project focuses on creating content regarding women's biographies, women's works, and women's issues.

The project is named after the hyperlinks in existing Wikipedia articles that display in red to indicate that the linked article has yet to be created. Since the inception of Ada Lovelace Day, Wikipedia edit-a-thons have been popular activities. Research at these events often discovered notable women in STEM who did not have Wikipedia pages, therefore a red link could be created for that person.

Objectives of the Wiki Women in Red Workshop[edit]

  • Recruit new women and train them on Wikipedia projects eg Wikipedia Wikidata.
  • Enroll selected women on a mentorship project where they are paired with experienced Wikimedians to improve their editing skills.
    • At the end of the mentorship program new editors will have to achieve targeted editing.
  • Encourage women's contribution on Wikipedia by organizing a contest to bridge knowledge gaps about women on Wikipedia, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons


Who is Eligible?[edit]

  • Anyone is welcome to participate to bridge the knowledge gap on women. More especially we encourage the participation of Women, Girls

What to contribute[edit]

  • Articles about notable women in Sports, Science and Technology, Sustainability etc

Which Wikimedia Projects[edit]

  • Wikipedia
  • Wikidata
  • Wikimedia Commons etc

Join Mentorship Program[edit]

Are you a newbie and aspire to take your Wikipedia editing skills to the next level? We offering free mentorship program to 10 selected Women who will be paired with experienced editors. Target for each mentee by the end of the mentorship program is to;

  • Create at least 3 new Wikidata items about a woman.
  • Improve 2 Wikipedia articles about women on Wikipedia.
  • Upload 5 photos on Wikimedia commons at the end of the mentorship to be eligible for data reimbursement.

Step 1: Register to participating!

Step 2: Create your Wiki account if you have none!

Step 3: Join dashboard for the writing contest!

Step 4: Learn how to write on Wikipedia!

Join Edit Contest and Win a Prizes[edit]

Outstanding contributors stand the chance of winning awards or souvenirs. You will also be part of the effort aimed at bridging the gender gap online. To ensure that your contributions are tracked and also stand the chance of winning a prize do well to sign up on the dashboard here.

The prizes for the Wiki Women in Red Contest includes:[edit]

  • Gift Vouchers for top 3
  • Souvenirs
  • Data reimbursement for top 10 editors
  • Recognitions and Certificates for everyone who participated

NB: Content must be strictly related to women in order to be selected for prizes. Check Article List for more details. Make small edits to Win an award.

Article list suggestion[edit]

Are you struggling to find topics to write about? Visit our list of suggested articles to find an article of interest!

Join our Virtual Training/Office Hours[edit]

Not sure how to contribute or what to do? Here's a list of dates where we'll be hosting office hours to answer all your questions. Contributing to Wikipedia is easier when you can learn with others. Here are a few events to get you started.

Virtual Office Hours
Date Event Time Link
Tues 28th Nov, 2023 Virtual Wikipedia Editing Hands-On 3pm - 4:30 PM UTC ZOOM
Tues 5th Dec, 2023 Virtual Wikidata Intro and Editing 3:00PM - 4:30 PM UTC ZOOM
Tues 12th Dec, 2023 Virtual Office Hour/Wikimedia Commons 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM UTC ZOOM'
Tues 19th Dec, 2023 Virtual Office Hour/Wiki Quotes 3:00PM - 4:30PM UTC ZOOM

Selected Photos of Women Uploaded during the campaign[edit]

Video Resource[edit]

Training Slides[edit]

Introduction to Wikimedia Commons

Summary Report[edit]

Bridging Digital Skills and Gender Gap - Wiki Women in Red @ 8 Recognizing the critical significance of women's participation and empowerment in our society, it is critical to provide them with the skills needed to enable their participation and contribution. This requirement applies equally to the Wikimedia ecosystem, which includes Wikipedia and its sister projects. With only 9% of Wikipedia editors being women, there is a considerable gender imbalance that influences the content that is available on various Wikimedia platforms. The low representation of women on Wikipedia is due to a systemic gender bias among Wikipedia editors. One out of every five biographies features a woman.

Even with 25% women's bios, only 20% of women's articles have images. As a women's group dedicated to women's empowerment and closing the gender gap, we viewed this as an excellent chance to encourage women in our network to participate in this initiative.

The change we made

In response to this challenge, and with the goal of improving the diversity of Wikimedia content, we recognized the need to empower more women in our network to be a part of the Wikimedia Ecosystem. We empower women by providing them with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to become active members of the Wikimedia community. These are the changes that the campaign brought about.

  • Introduced Wikipedia and Its sister project to participants especially women
  • Offered opportunity for 38 women and 16 men to participate in our in-person training
  • Created Wikipedia awareness to 100+ participants who joined the WhatsApp group
  • and drew their attention to the knowledge gap Offered virtual Wikipedia training to 50 participants
  • Supported 66 newcomers to their  new Wikipedia accounts
  • Developed articles list and Engaged existing experience and new editors to bridge knowledge gap
  • Participants had opportunity to participate in Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wiki Quote, and Wikimedia Commons

Contribution focus

Although the goal was to document women in Sport as that was the theme for the Women in Red at 8 anniversary we also thought it wise to engage participants to share their suggestions on themes they would like to contribute on during the campaign. Some of of the areas they suggestions included;

  • Women empowerment
  • Women in Tech
  • Women celebrity
  • Women in Education
  • Women In Sport
  • Women in Sustainability etc.

Workshops organized

To commemorate the Wiki Women in Red at 8 anniversary, Women for Sustainability Africa organized several workshops both in person and online in collaboration with the SRC women's commissioner for University of Professional Studies and Women for Sustainability Africa Community members.

Workshop 1 with Women for Sustainability Africa community[edit]

The first workshop which was organized on the Saturday the 25th November 2023 was attended by women in our community some of whom are also students from the university of Ghana. The workshop was attended by 20 participants of which 18 were women. The workshop and Bootcamp lasted for 5 hours. Link to testimonials -

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

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.  

Link to Video Testimonials of participants after the event -

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 Wikipedia who assisted us throughout the campaign and provided us with one-on-one mentoring.

We organized online sessions on;

  • How to create a Wikipedia Page - 160 views
  • Introductory to Wikidata Editing - 117 view
  • Introductory to Wikimedia commons and uploads - 123+ views
  • How to contribute to Wiki quotes. - 104 views
  • Resolving IP Block 108 views

All of these training sessions were recorded and uploaded on our Youtube channel to serve as a resource and also for those who could not participate to later visit it. These Youtube recordings have gained 80+ views, 21, 26 and 12 views respectively. You can find all the recordings on this playlist here. We also created training resources in the form of presentation slides to rely on.

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. The participants learned about Wikipedia and what goes into editing the platform.

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.

Other opportunities that were offered included sharing Lets Connect meetings for them to join and learn from others.


Link to Meta page - https://rb.gy/5dd6hj

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

Registration Tools Used

  • Event registration page: https://rb.gy/fuzuoy

Google form registration form will be made accessible upon request to protect participants data.

  • Virtual Training Registration Link- (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd_KXcgxYADxGoeLOUFKn0iJ_5wa68emr-zKLrNB650Yu_mqg/viewform?usp=sharing
  • Boot Camp registration - (39 registered)
  • UPSA registration

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

  • List from campaign Meta page- https://rb.gy/mfn686
  • Women in Red List - https://rb.gy/tx9wnc

Campaign Dashboard

Testimonial Video

  • UPSA:
  • Bootcamp:

Training Videos Play List

Short videos


IP Block:

One of the main challenges encountered throughout this training was IP Block on English Wikipedia. Although many of the participants were eager to edit Wikipedia, this was a major challenge. To counter this challenge we asked participants to create their Wikipedia account through Wikimedia Commons. We also tried to create Wikipedia accounts for others using the dashboard. And later on requested participants to email Graham with their username and IP. Even after all these steps they still couldn't edit on English Wikipedia. This experience was very discouraging for the participants as they are eager to make improvements to the wiki page and to practice.

As a result we had to focus more on creating articles on Wikidata and uploading Images on Wikimedia Commons. At the training most did not have images about women so resorted to uploading images not related to the topic as a test.

This experience is very discouraging and is usually encountered by Newbies. We hope something can be done about this for future events.


Lack of sources- Sources can be a challenge when writing about women. Example - There are a lot of women football teams in Ghana, however one for the challenges was the fact that they lacked sources. For those that were written about not much was documented as a result. In future we will also push some efforts on translations.

Some Wikidata articles that were documented by the volunteers were deleted due to some notability criteria's which some of the team members felt the subject was notable.

Event registration tool:

Another challenge we encountered was about creating the event registration page. First challenge encountered was the delay in creating the page.  We had to make a request for an organizer right before we could actually create an event registration tool. By that time we had our main campaign page already set up and registration ongoing. The campaign organizers took roughly 2 weeks to be approved. the inability to build the on wiki registration tool after our main campaign meta page was created.

After the approval, we couldn't embed the registration tool on the existing campaign page we created. We learned that it should have been created from the onset of starting a Wiki meta. That led us to create another page. Because we had created a dashboard already, We couldn't also link that dashboard to the event registration page that was created because that was not possible so we maintained the already created dashboard.

In Spite of the challenges with the registration tool, we found it very easy to and had features that can give us information about participants, also we were  able to send messages through the event registration page to participants. Although the on wiki registration tool is great there are still some improvements needed to make it easier for organizers to use .Some of the recommendations are;

  • All organizers should be given access rights to be able to create their event registration page or Speedily granting organizers to create registration pages when request is made. For our situation we had to create a separate page for the event registration after waiting about 2 weeks to be given the right. By that time the first event had already taken place and we had started recruitment already as the date for the first event had started approaching.
  • We recommend a way that is flexible for the event page to be adjusted - Another question we asked was what happens if the same page is maintained for another event the following year. Would that mean we keep creating a separate event page or how can we amend the existing registration to make way for the new campaign? For our case we had 2 separate events for two separate audiences during the same campaign. Does that mean we keep creating separate event registration pages for each of the activities?
  • More education is needed around the limitation of the tool to help organizers mitigate ahead. Eg you cannot create registration page on an already existing meta page, The registration page creation works along with the dashboard creation. You cannot embed your existing dashboard to the registration page. Again, this means that  in case your dashboard is linked to a bigger program dashboard you are not able to use it on the registration tool, which means registered participants will have to be transferred to another dashboard. That bit isn't so clear, much clarity and flexibility is needed.  
  • In future we hope that the registration tool can adapt some of the features from the Google form in terms of providing infographics of summary characteristics of the registered participants
  • We also had multiple events we were recruiting at the same time. This led us to use Google form alongside since we did not want to create another event page.
  • We couldn't add our own questions to the event registration questions.

Excess Participants

Another challenge was that the campaign attracted a lot of new participants, over a 100 new  participants on our whatsApp group who were eager to learn new skills using wikipedia. As a result we were unable to extend one on one support and host all members during the in person training although they were eager to participate. Another challenge was also the location which required us to host them, this didn't now allow us to accommodate participants from afar, however we held general online training.

Challenge using Dashboard: Using the dashboard was great, however we had a lot of work digging into the data to discover what was relevant for our campaign. In doing that exercise we realized that a lot of articles that were edited within the period of the campaign were captured on the dashboard. We found this by checking the article history. That exercise, although cumbersome, helped us to identify the actual articles and contributions made by participants of the campaign.


This campaign opened a lot of opportunities for us as an organization. This includes partnering with the University of professional Studies who is looking forward to more of such training for their students.

After learning about our Wikipedia training program, we were reached by Doctor Yaw at the Center for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies at the university of Ghana for a partnership with their institutions to incorporate Wikipedia education as part of their course for Masters Students. During our partnership discussion we identified possible collaboration opportunities that also included starting a wiki club for the Sustainability and Climate change Association. We see that this could be one of the long term goals to build their capacity on wikipedia , map content gap areas, and bridge knowledge gap areas around sustainability and Gender as that is also one of their work.  We foresee the possibility of engaging with them as part of the WikiForHumanRights Campaign.

To sustain our communities interest and offer continued support, we want to also share online events from the Let's Connect Telegram with them to join.

We recently had a few of our participants join the first Let’s Connect event in Jan 2024..

Resources and Support[edit]

  • Some of the ways we resolved IP Block issues was guiding participants to send emails to grahamwp@gmail.com requesting IP Unblock. While some felt it was a long process others were able to make the request and had IP unblock days after the training which allowed them to improve existing Wikipedia articles.
  • We also had office hours to help them with IP Unblock as well as made a video recording on how to get IP Unblock which we hosted on our Youtube Channel.
  • We also created a special Wikipedia Community WhatsApp group where we enrolled all that were interested in the campaign to learn about Wikipedia. The campaign attracted many people to join our Wikipedia and we currently have 190 members where we will be engaging from time to time to build their capacity on Wikipedia
  • As part of the resources we also created an article list for participants to start with, almost all of which have been created. We also shared article list for Wiki Women in Red
  • We received support from 2 staff at the Wikimedia foundation event registration team Euphemia and Ilana who trained us on how to use the event registration tool. During the middle part of the campaign they also assisted us to activate wiki bulk sms to send on invitation to participants who could be potential candidates for the campaign. Although that also had its own limitations, it was exciting to have made use of it to invite 20 experienced editors to join the contest although we didn't get much response from that outreach.
  • We also had Support from Wiki Women in Red liking and resharing our campaign on Twitter. We also exchanged some beautiful swags  with Wiki Women in Red in Scotland as a kind gesture and some of the swags they sent were given to contributors of the campaign.

T-shirt we sent to Wiki women and Swags we received from Wiki Women in red for our community

  • Experienced Editors: Having experienced editors providing us with guidance and support was very encouraging and contributed to the success of the program. With their wealth of experience they provided support where they could. They assisted with me mentoring selected participants who demonstrated willingness to learn. They also trained my team to perform some tasks like editing the metapage, creating the dashboard, leading some of the training amongst others. This has really increased the editing skills of our team and some have continued to join other campaigns contributing to translations. Some of the new bees have joined our wikipedia team to support us during future trainings and campaigns

Contributions Made

Although the theme was documenting articles about women in sport, we realized that participants wanted to not only document women in sport. When we asked them what topics they were interested to contribute to, Women in Tech, Women Empowerment, stood out but went on to create wiki data items and Wikipedia articles about women sport organization, organizations that are into women, Women in sustainability education etc.

We were cognizant of the fact that the dashboard sometimes tracks other sources of contributions. Although some of the newcomers who joined wrote about other subjects which were not about women, for the purposes of the impact attained we tracked articles related to women on the dashboard and here is the statistics we gathered.

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

In the Height of the Guinness World Record we had some participants writing about the contestant Asantwewaa and Failatu, However the Failatu article is being contested and in discussion at the moment.

Some of the women articles documented on Wikipedia included;[edit]

(We will still be adding to the list as we need more time to go through )

Improved En-Wikipedia page

New Wikipedia Articles Created

  1. Bakri Osman Saeed
  2. Golden Girl (award)
  3. Draft:Maudlyn Akosua Awuku
  4. Failatu Abdul-Razak
  5. Owoeye Babajide
  6. Draft:Widad Ibrahim Elmahboub
  7. Lydia Aziato
  8. Naa Dedei Omaedru III
  9. Harriet Marks
  10. Christina Montgomery
  11. Mary Veta Macghey
  12. Constance Mackness
  13. Mosab Abu Toha
  14. Mae Jackson (poet)
  15. Sama` Abdulhadi
  16. Sharan Dhaliwal
  17. Catriona Mackenzie
  18. Subhalakshmi Nandi
  19. Sarah Walker (activist)
  20. Teresa Meade
  21. Mae Jackson (politician)
  22. Kate Mostel
  23. Kate Mostel
  24. Jane Langton (silk merchant)
  25. Joy Lucas (ski instructor)
  26. Nada Bakri
  27. Henrietta_Montagu



The testimonial participants gave after the event were encouraging as  most of them were excited about gaining this new knowledge and are enthused. We  have shared video testimonials.


After the entire event and training were over we asked for feedback and we have the following.

Contact us at Email: w4safrica(_AT_)gmail(_DOT_)com

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