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Submissions/Measuring the immeasurable: toward a qualitative evaluation of gender gap activities

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2015.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Measuring the immeasurable: toward a qualitative evaluation of gender gap activities
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Atropine, Ginevra Sanvitale
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Italy
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

It’s been almost 5 years since the Wikipedia gender gap became a hot topic in the Wikimedia movement and a big global effort towards its breaching started to take place. We, the countless and tireless volunteers who decided to take this huge burden upon our shoulders, have been involved in any possible kind of activity: conferences, meet-ups, lunches, workshops, editathons, contests, social media campaigns, writing on newspapers and blogs, participating in discussions on Wikipedia, on Meta, on mailing-lists and so on.

What the numbers suggest, though, might not seem particularly rewarding. In August 2013 Sue Gardner acknowledged the failure of the efforts lead by the Wikimedia Foundation to reduce the Wikipedia gender gap. One year later Jimbo Wales declared that the goal of raising women participation to a 25% of female users by 2015 was not going to be met. Nonetheless, all the seeds that we have spread through the last 5 years must have sprouted somewhere. In this discussion I would like to find out together where they are.

But even if the quantitative results are not flattering (and we all know how much documented facts are important to Wikipedians), we still must acknowledge that we keep having a lot of committed and hard-working volunteers who wish to get involved in gender gap activities -myself included. I believe that if we are still engaging in such activities it is because they have a greater impact and meaning than what may emerge from reports and newspapers articles.

In this discussion I would like to elaborate a collaborative qualitative framework which could be used to better understand the outcomes of the gender gap reduction efforts and to evaluate our past and future work. We will identify which are its most interesting and valuable side results through the analysis of initiatives which are particularly relevant for their frequency (editathons, workshops) or their range (WikiWomen’s History Month, Iberocoop contest on female biographies), as well as through a discussion on its wider impact on the movement and on the outside world. The outcomes of the discussion will be later shared through a blog post or other suggested means.

The discussion will be hosted by Ginevra Sanvitale and Anna Torres.

WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Yes, depending on the scholarship.
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

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