Learning patterns/Hosting a multi-location gender gap edit-a-thon

A learning pattern foreditathons
Hosting a multi-location gender gap edit-a-thon
problemTraining women to participate in Wikipedia
solutionHosting edit-a-thons and building out on- and off-Wiki training resources
created on17:19, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

What problem does this solve?


Given that women make up less than 10% of the editor community, we'd like to highlight the ways in which our edit-a-thon series promotes gender awareness on Wikipedia and invites women with no editing experience to edit Wikipedia articles.

We've spent the last few years building documentation that helps our organizers reproduce the success we've had in expanding every year, becoming increasingly decentralized, and gaining increasing support from international Wikipedians.

Year Locations Participants Articles
2014 31 600 200
2015 75 1500 900
2016 175 2500 3500
2017* 325 3500 8000
  • projected based off of growth models

What is the solution?

  • Review our Organizer's Kit which goes into detail what you can do to organize edit-a-thons locally.
  • Build training materials off-wiki. Use screencast software to create brief training videos, generate powerpoint slides that can be downloaded as PDFs or used in training presentations. We cannot expect users to start the process of learning how to edit on-wiki.
  • Reach out to information professionals. Tech-savvy scholars in your field and librarians are key. Librarians are particularly helpful in that they typically have experience running trainings and hosting events.
  • Hold a series of Train-the-Trainer sessions in person and online if possible.
  • Reach out to Wikipedians in the different cities/countries your satellite events will take place. Empower them and the local organizers (with training materials) to handle coordination on their end, creating a decentralized structure.
  • Make sure you highlight notability issues and discuss the political importance of gender gap work. More information on How To and Resources available here on our Art+Feminism Meetup Page

Things to consider

  • Make sure you're being inclusive of all communities and sensitive to intersectionality
  • Do outreach to Wikipedians as well as librarians and make sure everyone is on board with the project and is sensitive to gender issues.
  • Plan train-the-trainer events way in advance so you don't end up running them while also coordinating local issues.
    • Provide online Train the Trainer events that are available to international organizers and organizers who are unable to locate Wikipedians in their area.
  • Provide funds for food and childcare, where possible.
  • Be intentional about your goals and mission for the project.

When to use


This process has been applied in the Art+Feminism editathon series, but could be applied to any thematic gender gap campaign.



See also