CIS-A2K/Work plan July 2017 - June 2018/Bridging Gender Gap initiatives

Main pageBudgetKannadaOdiaMarathiTeluguBridging Gender GapGlobal EngagementSkill Building

Introduction edit

CIS-A2K has been putting more emphasis on understanding and bridging the gender gap in the Indic language Wikipedia communities. Over fifteen gender gap bridging events have been conducted so far during the current grant period in the four language areas (Kannada, Marathi, Odia, and Telugu). An independent researcher in the team has collected interviews and survey data through her action research on the gender imbalance in Indic language Wikipedia communities. The research helps us shed more light on the improvement needed in interventions conducted and the essentiality to raise gender sensitivity in the community.

In the 2017-2018 grant period, CIS-A2K will attempt to address the Wikipedia gender gap(s) in a more holistic and sustainable way by embedding the gender gap bridging initiatives in our practices in each community and program. That is, instead of seeing bridging the gender gap as a stand-alone theme, the team considers that the focus of women's participation, content creation, and gender sensitization should be a significant cross-cutting factor for all work plan activities. The goal is to initiate (and continue) the dialogue in all our areas of work (WEP, GLAM, skill building initiatives, etc.), rather than labeling only a small number of events as "gender-gap-bridging" effort in a certain period of time in a year.


Critical analysis of progress edit

Gender gap awareness session at Andhra Loyola College, Vijayawada

In the grant period of July 2016 to June 2017, CIS-A2K has been conducting various gender gap bridging events including edit-a-thons, awareness sessions, and women's workshops. We also established strong partnership with the Delhi-based human rights and feminist NGO, Breakthrough, through collaborating in many events. With the action research focusing on women's participation in Indic language Wikipedias, CIS-A2K members have demonstrated increased attention and strong interest in the gender gap bridging initiatives. Some challenges faced and items of improvements include:

  • Lack of followup of events that share the same themes and consist the same participants
  • Many events were conducted for English Wikipedia editing rather than in Indic languages due to the challenges in finding local language sources
  • Need of more female Wikipedian tutors in events that focus on women
  • Gender sensitization and friendly space guidelines have not been emphasized or prioritized enough in gender gap bridging initiatives and activities
  • The absence of Code of Conduct/Friendly Space policies or proper enforcement of the said guidelines in community activities and events

Implementation plans and goals edit

To materialize this cross-cutting theme initiative, Three main work plan ideas on bridging the gender gap is created. From Systematic changes to the improvement of outreach and activities, CIS-A2K aims to create tangible improvement in the local communities that are more sustainable and human-central. Under each of the three main plans are two to three smaller components that highlight different actions required to meet the objectives. The aims of these actions are not to merely change the "numbers" (ratio, editor counts, page counts, etc.) in event performance. Instead, it is to improve the environment and practices in the long term to make Indic Wikimedia communities more inclusive, welcoming, and alert of the Wikipedia gender gap issue.

Systematic changes Practices Reach
Guidelines localization and enforcement GLAM and NGO collaboration Broader awareness
Training session for gender sensitization Service in events and activities Recognition and tangible impacts diagnosis
Balancing gender ratio in events and programs Strengthen Wikiwomen communities

Systematic changes

Plan 1: Guidelines localization and enforcement edit

One of the most important steps to create a more friendly and aware community environment is to establish guidelines and made them accessible to the local volunteers. Core Wikipedia policy pages such as the Five pillars exist in most Indic languages, however, other more detailed guidelines that prevent unwelcome and insensitive gestures, such as WP: Harassment or WP: Don't bite the newcomers are not that well adapted in the Indic Wikipedias.
Localizing the guidelines are necessary for the communities' development and awareness and the procedure should follow the steps of Wikipedia policy and guideline page proposal. Inspiration can be drawn from English Wikipedia policy pages; however, we note that guidelines for a different Wikipedia version should be accepted locally and independently and that high level of consensus should be met. Community Village Pump discussion has to be initiated to decide which policies and guidelines are most urgently in need of translation and localization and what kind of local adaptation are required for the proposal.
Aside from Wikipedia policies and guidelines, manuals to eliminate gender bias as well as important gender gap bridging project pages and/or Wikiproject advice pages should also be translated and localized. Volunteers should be encouraged to propose the creation of How-to pages and information pages as well so long as the proposal procedure is followed to obtain consensus.

A Code of Conduct poster for the MediaWiki Training held by CIS-A2K

On the other hand, CIS-A2K had created an event Code of Conduct for our latest Train the Trainer (TTT) in February 2017. A poster was designed afterwards for the MediaWiki Training and posted at the event venue to draw more attendees' attention to the rules. We consider it the best practice for all community activities to adopt the same or similar rules in the future. A code of conduct sample will be posted on the Village Pump and mailing list discussion to further promote this initiative. For more informal and regular community activities such as meetups and social, a simplified version of the Code of Conduct (friendly space rule) should be in place. All community events supported and/or coordinated by CIS A2K in the following grant period will be required to have a Code of Conduct or friendly space rule, and all attendees and organizers should be made aware of it.

Activity execution

  • Creation of clear policy proposal procedure guide book/tutorials for community members
  • Discussion and consultation on Village Pump, mailing list, and community meetups regarding policy localization
  • Policy pages translation-thon (under Template:Proposed)
  • Code of Conduct localization discussion in community meetups
  • Basic friendly space rule discussion and publication
  • Code of Conduct poster design contest in each focus language area


Output target Expected outcomes
  • At least 2 policy pages (include policy, guidelines, manuals, gender related Wikiproject page, how-to, and information pages) should be localized and published.
  • At least 1 version of event Code of Conduct (in local language) should be established in each focus language area
  • The basic friendly space rule should be developed in each focus language community for informal meetups and activities
  • All events supported and/or coordinated by CIS-A2K will have an event Code of Conduct (and a response team) in place and all participants (including delegates, speakers, guests, organizers, staff members) will be made aware of the said rules
    • A Response Team refers to an internal crew that responds to incidences regarding violation of the event rules or any emergency situation. Members of the response team can be part of the organizing team but are required to be. A person, regardless of his/her gender, is only eligible to become a response team member if she/he has received some gender sensitization training.
  • Higher awareness level of friendly rules and policies in the communities
  • Event organizers and delegates are more alert and responsible of their actions and behaviors

Plan 2: Training session for gender sensitization edit

It was brought to our notice that there is still much need for gender sensitization in the communities and even in the CIS-A2K team. It is not to say that volunteers and/or team members have performed malicious behavior, but the level of gender sensitivity in communication, event planning, and execution of activities could have been improved in a few cases. Gender sensitization consists the effort to understand questions like "what is gender," "why gender factors matter," and "how to interact with people of different genders in a more unbiased, considerate, and open-minded way." In the current and previous years, CIS-A2K has had the fortune to work with some feminist organizations and Women's Study departments but the collaboration has not expanded from the scope of Edit-a-thon coordination. In the 2017-18 grant period, these network and resources will be further mobilized and considered as an asset to improve the community environment and program practices.

A presentation on bridging the Wikipedia Gender Gap and raising awareness during TTT 2017

Activity execution

  • Gender sensitization training session for team members (held by professional)
  • Awareness campaign to crowdsource community members' opinions (through text, videos, or images) on why gender diversity matters and to share what can be improved in our practices
  • In (mini) Train the Trainer (TTT) events, a mandatory workshop should be conducted by professional to build gender sensitization in the community
  • In WEP, introduction sessions on the Wikipedia gender gap issue and gender sensitization of online collaboration culture will be mandatory in program syllabi


Output target Expected outcomes
  • Gender sensitization session for CIS A2K team members
  • Mandatory workshops on gender sensitization in (mini) Train the Trainer (TTT)
  • Create a meta category to showcase an document the campaign of gender sensitization in Wikimedian communities
  • Higher gender sensitivity of community members and CIS A2K members in program conduct
  • Constitute a more friendly space for women members in the community to share their thoughts and experience

Things to be aware of edit

Difficulty level: Medium-high

  1. Violation of policy proposal procedure: Policies, guidelines, and other namespace pages have to be proposed and discussed before being published. In this process, it will be extremely important to have experienced Wikipedians and admins as guides and monitors. Newer editors are welcome to join the discussion.
  2. Priority setting: Guidelines and policies related to gender gap bridging may not appear as a "priority" to the community members. In cases that a community would like to localize other policies rather than the said ones, support should still be given but a gender gap related page should be in the second order.
  3. Low incentives: Translating, localizing, and reviewing guideline pages is a complicated task requiring high level of dedication, skills, and much time. It is very important to create incentives for volunteers, such as prizes, barnstars, media recognition etc.


Plan 1: GLAM and NGO collaboration edit

To continue the partnership we have with institutions and NGOs who share the same belief in bridging the gender gap and women empowerment, the collaboration we had with these partners should become more regular and sustainable. Many individual events have been conducted but there has been a lack of followups. To address this situation, CIS A2K intend to provide more agency to our partners and to partner them more closely with the local Wikimedian communities. That is, in future practices, CIS-A2K will attempt to connect these institutions and organizations to the local language communities as the first step. As a liaison, CIS-A2K will encourage the two parties to exercise more agency to initiate collaboration ideas and share resources and local network.

Activity execution

  • Edit-a-thons and follow up events in collaboration with GLAM and NGO partners that possess reference materials on women-related subjects
  • Introduce the partners to global gender gap bridging initiatives and hold events that connect their local effort to global movement
  • Train-a-Wikipedian sesions in GLAM institutions and NGOs to encourage (female) staff members to join Wikimedia projects and to establish the network between the partner and the local community
  • Encourage material donation from the partners to enrich other Wikimedia projects
  • Meet the partners - introduce our GLAM and NGO partners to local community members through community meetups or mailing list announcement


Output target Expected outcomes
  • Maintain relationship with existing GLAM and NGO partners
  • Establish 3 more institutional partnership with NGOs or GLAM institutes that work on gender-related subjects
  • Hold at least 1 gender-related Wikipedia event per focus language area and organize at least 1 followup activity for each event
  • Meet the gender gap bridging partner (community meetups)
  • Train-a-Wikipedian sessions in at least 2 partner institutes
  • Strength and expand CIS-A2K's institutional and organizational partnership in gender gap bridging initiatives
  • Community members are able to contact and work with the GLAM and NGO partners in the long term
  • Higher awareness (among local GLAM and NGO network) about the Indic language Wikimedia projects as well as the Wikipedia gender gap issue

Plan 2: Service in events and activities edit

In community events and activities, female participants' convenience, comfort, and safety should be paid more attention to.


  • Create a checklist of event venue facility and services that are necessary to ensure women participants' comfort and safety, such as:
    • Female safety analysis on the event venue and accommodation facility (if applicable)
    • Sufficient accessible, safe, and clean washrooms for both men and women
    • Transportation arrangement (pick-up and drop-off) for female participants attending/leaving an event that run late/early
    • Childcare service and feeding room at event venue (inquired before events and made available if requested)
  • Submission of the checklist (pre-event) should be mandatory for all events supported and/or coordinated by the CIS-A2K


Output target Expected outcomes
  • Support should be given to all community event/activity planners who may need support in providing these services
  • Record of the pre-event checklist and post-event reflection on what went well and what else was needed should be documented and evaluated for better practices
  • Women can register and attend Wikipedia events with more assurence and less worries on their safety
  • Women with young children to look over can benefit from the childcare facility and will not miss out the event opportunity
  • Higher awareness and sense of responsibility of community event organizers

Plan 3: Balancing gender ratio in events and programs edit

Balancing the gender ratio in all events regardless of the event themes is crucial to grow community inclusiveness and a sense of belonging for all

It is extremely important to include more female and male participants in all activities and events. Although women-only events can be more comfortable for first time participants, in followup events and longer running programs, it is crucial to hold cross-gender interaction and dialogue. In events that are not in gender-related themes, notice should be posted that women's participation are strongly encouraged. On the other hand, in typical gender gap-bridging events, male members' participation should be widely encouraged so long as it does not override women's participation.


  • At least 2 community events, regardless of themes, in each focus language area per year will fulfill the gender maximum rule that no more than 60% of attendees should identify themselves as the same gender.
  • Event organizers should make notice on the event page and social media that the event is open to all genders and that female participants (or male participants for gender-related events) are especially welcome.

Output target Expected outcomes
  • At least 2 community events per focus language area will fulfill the gender maximum rule
  • Notice and announcement of all genders' participation encouragement should be posted on the event meta pages and social media
  • More engagement of men and women in all events
  • More cross-gender dialogue held for gender gap bridging initiatives

Things to be aware of edit

Difficulty level: Medium

  1. Avoid exclusion and tokenism: Capping a gender maximum percentage is to encourage a more balanced demographics of event participants. In other words, the plan should be considered as a best practice goal for a more genderly diverse event environment. It is not, however, to reject or exclude interested participants of any certain genders from attending. It is also crucial to note that every participant's attendance and opinions should be considered equally important and valid; and that a person is much more than simply his/her gender identity.
  2. Avoid gender binarism: Although the words "male" and "female" are used in the proposal, we are aware of the existence of other gender identities. All events and activities will be LGBTQ-friendly.


Plan 1: Broader awareness edit

Women's Day Edit-a-thon at Jeewan Jyoti Vocational Centre, Ambawane village (Pune District)

CIS-A2K is aware that the gender gap is not a singular phenomenon in Wikipedia and that "gender" should not be a standalone label without taking intersectional factors into account, such as a woman's race, caste, class, and different-ability. In the 2017-18 grant period we aim to bring in broader awareness about the Wikipedia gender gap initiatives to women in different sectors, regions, and interests. So far we have been successful in reaching to female students in post-secondary institutions and female professionals in the science academic disciplines. Our recruitment should, however, be beyond these fields and settings. On the other hand, more collaboration with other Open Source communities will also be initiated to help us learn from other communities who share the same concern.

Activity execution

  • Participate in conferences and events outside of the Wikimedia community to raise awareness of the Wikipedia gender gap issue
  • Outreach activity and edit-a-thon events for women working in different sectors and academic fields
  • Hold edit-a-thons in coordination with the Dalit History Month to raise awareness of knowledge from and about Dalit Women (similar initiatives can also be applied to Tribal women, LGBT History Month, etc.)
  • Hold basic Wikipedia workshops outside of the main cities (within the focus language areas) to reach women in different regions and background.
  • Using Software Freedom Day, OpenCon, and other Open Source events to raise the awareness of Wikipedia gender gap and to learn from other FOSS communities


Expected outcomes
  • Reach more women from different sectors, interest, and background, making them aware of the local language Wikimedia projects and how they can contribute
  • Raise awareness on gender and its cross-cutting factors (castes, race, etc.)
  • Establish network from other FOSS communities and learned about their gender gap bridging initiatives

Plan 2: Recognition and tangible impact diagnosis edit

"100 Women Editathon" held at Odisha's biggest news agency Sambad (March 2017)

In order to reach more women and help more women stay active, incentives and regular recognition should be given. This include from small gestures like WikiLove to more significant ones like press mention. Additionally, tangible impacts and benefits of women and their contribution to Wikimedia projects should be discussed and shared among members as a form of encouragement.


  • Send post-event automatic message to remind and encourage new Wikipedians to keep editing
  • Work closely with agency and consultants to increase the media exposure of Wikipedia gender gap bridging initiatives
  • Utilize social media strategies to highlight events and community volunteers' stories
  • Interview active female Wikipedians about the tangible benefit they gain from contributing to Wikimedia projects (used as outreach material)


Expected outcomes
  • More women are aware of their local language Wikipedias/Wikimedia projects and how they can contribute
  • New (female) Wikipedians feel appreciated and recognized by their first time efforts
  • More content coverage on (and contribution from) women with different background and interests
  • Higher exposure of the gender gap bridging initiatives in the media

Plan 3: Strengthen Wikiwomen communities edit

Wiki Women Meetup in Mangaluru (August 2016)

A women's community in specific region can be helpful to strengthen the bonding and support network among female Wikimedians. Local groups like Mangaluru Wikiwomen strive for creating a women's space and close-knitted community across languages.

Activity Execution

  • Contact female Wikimedians in different cities to set up a contact network with other local Wikiwomen
  • Support and coordinate regular (monthly or bi-monthly) Wikiwomen meetups
  • Edit-a-thons and workshop conducting
  • Wikiwomens' community can provide resource persons (such as female tutors) for other activities in the language communities


Output target Expected outcomes
  • At least 1 Wikiwomen meetup held in each focus language area
  • Create Whatsapp/social media groups for Wikiwomen in the same regions or language communities
  • Strengthen the bonding between female Wikimedians
  • Create a support network for women when they need help
  • Cross-Wikiwomen group communication and experience sharing

Things to be aware of edit

Difficulty level: Medium-low

  1. Internet facility in rural areas: A main challenge of conducting events outside of the main cities or institutional environment is ensuring decent internet access and facility. For participants with mobile phones, Wikipedia App can be downloaded and used for editing. Dongles and other internet equipment must be prepared by the CIS-A2K team or local partners to ensure internet access.
  2. Question regarding representation of knowledge: It is an important initiative to consider the intersectional factors along with one's gender identity. However, when holding events with themes regarding the minority groups of women, such as Dalit women and tribal women, we must be extra cautious about our (and participants') positionality. Although it may not always be feasible to have members from the minority groups to join editing, it is of best practice to have at least a small number of experts as representatives of the groups as event consultants. References used in the articles created during the the events should also be reviewed to ensure it is an unbiased representation of their knowledge and identities.
  3. Avoid a "closed" community: Although it is important to set up Wikiwomen's groups and establish women's support network, it is not to be a "closed" community as cross-gender dialogue cannot be sacrificed. Wikiwomen's groups will stand in solidarity with the larger language communities to address the gender gap issue in an open and collaborative fashion.

Global metrics adaptation edit

Metric Expected outcome
Participants 170
Newly Registered 140
Content Pages 70
Footprint tracker 5
Value of bytes deleted 3,000

To implement the gender gap bridging initiatives as a cross-cutting theme among all practices, CIS-A2K decided to include gender parameters in the global metrics.

Original global metrics Add-on gender parameters
1. Number of active editors involved Number of active female editors involved
2. Number of new editors Number of female new editors
3. Number of individuals involved Number of female individuals involved
4. Number of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages --
5. Number of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects Number of articles added or improved for Women in Red Project (or other gender gap bridging global initiatives)
6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects that are associated to Women in Red Project (or other gender gap bridging global initiatives)

Gender parameter target edit

Add-on gender parameters Target Note
Number of active female editors involved 30 Due to the gender gap bridging research activities and interviews conducted during July 2016 - June 2017 grant period, the number of active female editors involved had been higher in the 2016 December Progress Report. The proposed number in this July 2017 - June 2018 work plan is lowered as the research is expected to be finalized before July 2017.
Number of female new editors 140
Number of female individuals involved 200
Number of articles added or improved for Women in Red Project (or other gender gap bridging global initiatives) 70
Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects that are associated to Women in Red Project (or other gender gap bridging global initiatives) 1MB

Budget edit

Serial number Expenditure Item FDC Support (INR) FDC Support (US$)
Conversion rate:   1 → US$ 0.015
1 Salary 240,000 3,600
2 Travel and stay 100,000 1,500
3 Events and meetup 100,000 1,500
4 Digitization 35,000 525
5 Miscellaneous 15,000 225
Total 490,000 7,350
6 In-kind support 30,000* 450
Grand total 520,000 7,800

Activity-wise Budget edit

Serial number Expenditure Item FDC Support (INR) FDC Support (US$)
Conversion rate:   1 → US$ 0.015
1 Salary 240,000 3,600
2 Skill building 60,000 900
3 Content Enrichment Activities 100,000 1,500
4 WEP 30,000 450
5 GLAM 50,000 750
6 Miscellaneous 10,000 150
Sub Total 490,000 7,350
7 In-kind support 30,000* 450
Grand total 520,000 7,800