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Posted by on Mar 24, 2013 in Jotter | 3 comments

A day in Wiki Women Workshop

As we all know, Wikipedia is the world’s biggest encyclopedia and recognized as the 5th most website accessed by people across the globe. Being one of the biggest community driven project, Wikipedia has pooled in millions of articles which have been added/edited/monitored/ by people like you and me.

By nature, gender has not only been the distinguishing factor for human being but also acts as a barrier to perform limited set of activities from the ages. At various stages of evolution, men and women have been continuously striving to overcome their boundaries which were set by themselves or by the society. It’s the same story when it comes to statistics of Wikipedians and the ratio of men and women participation is 9:1.  To bridge this gap Wikipdedia has been organizing many activities to bring in more women participants around Wikipedia and other Wiki projects. On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2013, many of the volunteer Wikipedians conducted workshops with dedicated focus to women across the India.

On this occasion, I got an opportunity to organize the workshop in Bangalore as well for women with ideas floated by Nikita (EC member of India Chapter) and Radhakrishna (SIG chair Bangalore). With guidance and support by Sowmyan (Executive Manager of India Chapter), Arun (founder member of India Wikipedia) and Omshivapraksh (Kannada SIG chair of Bangalore), we could conduct Wikipedia Women’s Workshop successfully for the first time in Bangalore on 9th of March at Servelots Infotech Pvt. Ltd. As mentioned in the event page, the workshop was started with giving an overview of Wikipedia and introduction of participants along with their interests. Continuing further participants were able to found their answers for their initial set of questions like what is Wikipedia all about? Why do we participate? Who all will edit? in about an hour session by Omshivaprakash.

After a small tea break and a press byte organized by Pavanaja, the sessions were continued by introducing the next step to Wikipedia. i.e., How do we edit? To make our hands on session more interactive, we made one of our participant, Dr. A Sumitra to create an account live and explained various steps to edit Wikipedia like start a new page, edit a page, formatting, preview, adding references, history, etc.  In between we played the recorded videos of Bishakha Datta and Netha Hussain who shared their experience with Wikipedia and their message on Women’s Day.

 With excited participants, we extended the session and took some more time to explain what else we can do beyond editing by giving a brief overview on other wiki projects like Commons, WikiBooks, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikitionary, MediaWiki, etc.

New items on the cards:

1.    During the event, Dr. A Sumitra based out of Bangalore did add the page on Nalini Nayak who is famous as India’s Fisher Women.

2.    We have compiled a list of topics for Kannada Wikipedia for which women can participate in adding/enhancing the content on Wikipedia.

3.    Our participant, Lakshimi Chaitanya has come forward to introduce many female achievers by adding content in Kannada Wikipedia.

4.    Sumana from Sanskrit Wikipedia and other Wikipedians have been working on making audio files for Sanskrit Shlokas since few days and they are very happy to welcome volunteers who would like to join them in adding their content to Commons.

Couple of other women who could not make it to the event also got in touch to be part of the celebrations by contributing to Kannada Wikipedia:

 5.    Recent Wikipedian, Shyamala Janardhan has been trying to add contents of  HariKathamrutha Saara to WikiSource.

6.    Savitha S.R. from Bangalore celebrating this occasion by adding contents of Vyasa Bharata -Kumara Vyasa to Wikipedia.

I have created a new Facebook group called WikiWomen Bangalore  to gather all women participants of Wikipedia and other Wiki projects. The space can be used to discuss and interact about topics around Wikipedia and to bring in more women participants to share their knowledge. I request all of you to join the group and share your thoughts.

Also refer to event page International Women’s Day, India which lists all the events happening in India in March 2013 on the occasion of Women’s day and participate in the area of your interest.

As a personal note, it gave immense pleasure and was a great learning experience for me interacting with new excited Wikipedians. Thanks to everyone who were part of the event and make it a big success.

Press Release:

Photo credits goes to: Pavanaja, Wikipedia Commons



  1. Very glad to know. Wish all the best to the Wikipedia movement at Bangalore!

    As I have always reminded, Bangalore has a special Wikigeography. There are not many such places in the world where learnt people from so many regional languages communities can meet and work together for a mission like Wikipedia.

    That gives you a large quantum of workload for the future! But trust me, what you could accomplish together will be a rare feat in the history of mankind.


  2. Nice initiative. Congrats on this.
    I sure hope we can create more and more Kannada content. This is the best chance we have of putting the rich Kannada literature out there. I always resolve that I will increase my Kannada contributions, but nothing till date. Perhaps this year will be different…

  3. Loved the post. I wish the new wikiwomen all success!

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