Cape Town, South Africa, 4th July 2016 – Wiki Loves Women is proud to announce the launch of nine months of exciting events in four countries – Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria. A collaboration between WikiAfrica and the Goethe-Institut, Wiki Loves Women is an innovative knowledge project that works to ensure that Africa’s notable women are celebrated and that issues affecting women and girls in Africa are reflected on Wikipedia. In short, Wiki Loves Women works to provide globally accessible information about Africa’s women.
Gender inequality is rife in many parts of Africa. Over the years, many strides have been taken to address inequalities in the workplace and within society. However, particularly online there remains a systemic bias that disadvantages women by only profiling men, especially with regards to information, news and knowledge.
The Wiki Loves Women project addresses this bias and focuses on bridging two significant gaps on Wikipedia projects – women and Africa – both in terms of content about these subjects and participation by women from the continent. The project leverages Wikipedia’s role as a global knowledge resource to achieve accessible and fair representation of women online.
Wiki Loves Women is being led in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria by core members of the Wikimedia Usergroups and by Georges Fodouop in Cameroon. Each team works in close collaboration with the Goethe-Institut in each country, and harnesses the enthusiasm of Wikipedia volunteers, both new and experienced.
Their work will begin to rebalance the amount of information that exists on Wikipedia by celebrating the many successful and courageous women in Africa who are making a difference. They will also reflect the realities that many women continue to face on a day-to-day basis, by reflecting the context and background of social and traditional challenges and expectations.
The teams in each of the four countries are working with a wide range of partnering organisations, institutions and networks to celebrate Africa’s notable women and the realities that face women. The articles will be written through the contribution of existing researched and verified information from Public Institutions, Civil Society Organisations and Gender-equality groups to Wikipedia.
The teams will train enthusiastic volunteers to work on articles about the women who drive our economies, businesses, politics, and legal professions. In preparation for the launch of the project, the teams have researched and isolated core issues that affect women in their countries. Each country team will focus on individuals and groups of women to be celebrated for their wide range of achievements in fields that included, but are not limited to, humanitarian work, politicians, health innovators, arts, music, cultural and literary giants, and leaders in business. They are also working on articles about the economic development of women in their countries, and the social conditions, traditions and tasks that usually fall to women, such as traditional mourners, matrilineal inheritance, polygamy, widowhood rites and the reality of breast cancer and endometriosis.
In addition to the celebration of individual women and women’s groups, the project works to present the positive and negative contexts that many of Africa’s women engage with daily, some of which threaten women’s rights and gender equality. These issues include forced marriage, teenage pregnancy, violence against women, breast ironing in pre-pubescent women, child marriages and marital succession.
The project welcomes any individuals who are keen to learn how to contribute to Wikipedia and wish to add information about notable women, or important women’s issues in their country. For people or organisations in the four countries who want to get involved, please contact
- Georges Fodouop, Cameroon Lead: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dominique Eliane Yao, Côte d’Ivoire Lead: email@example.com
- Raphael Berchie, Ghana Wikipedian In Residence: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Olushola Olaniyan, Nigeria Lead: email@example.com
For those who want to get involved in the project from around the globe, please contact either Florence Devouard on firstname.lastname@example.org or Isla Haddow-Flood on email@example.com.
The Wiki Loves Women project is designed by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood to align with the WikiAfrica movement and is run in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut. It takes place in four sub-Saharan African countries, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria. The proposal and project documentation are published under CC BY SA 4.0.
Wiki Loves Women links
- website: www.wikiloveswomen.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WikiLovesWomen
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WikiLovesWomen
- Meta pages:
For media queries contact:
English: Isla Haddow-Flood
Cell: +27 76 077 3135
French: Florence Devouard
Cell: +33 645 60 62 77
NOTES FOR THE EDITOR:
Wiki Loves Women takes place across Africa – its current team is:
- Florence Devouard, Co-Project Manager, Francophone Lead:
- A Wikipedian since 2002, Florence Devouard is formerly Chair of Wikimedia Foundation (the non-profit hosting Wikipedia) and founding member of Wikimedia France. She is Manager of international projects (Kumusha Takes Wiki, Wiki Loves Africa etc.), as well as public speaker and a consultant. Above everything, she loves to share her knowledge of new practices and online communities. She cares for language diversity and multicultural dialogue, and is a supporter of the open-source and free knowledge movement. Contact her on: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Isla Haddow-Flood, Co-Project Manager, Anglophone and South Africa Lead:
- A Wikipedian since 2011, a Zimbabwean by birth, and a Capetonian by adoption, Isla Haddow-Flood is a writer, editor and project strategist who is passionate about harnessing communication technology and media platforms for the advancement of open access to knowledge; specifically, knowledge that relates to and enhances the understanding of Africa via the Open Movement (and especially Wikipedia). Contact her on: email@example.com
- Georges Fodouop, Cameroon Wikipedian In Residence:
- A Wikipedian since 2013, Georges was an informatician, systems and network administrator for Institut Français du Cameroun – Douala. He is very actively involved in various projects related to Wikipedia in Africa such as Afripedia, WikiLoves Africa and training to discovery and contributing to Wikipedia. Contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dominique Eliane Yao, Côte d’Ivoire Lead and Wikipedian In Residence:
- A graduate in Communication, Dominique Eliane is passionate of ICT, media and journalism. She joined the Ivorian Wikimedia’s community in 2014, and has been actively campaigning in the local User Group as the auditor and social media driver. Henri Frédéric’s quote defines her life choice: “The real identity of happiness is the serenity”. Contact her on: email@example.com
- Raphael Berchie, Ghana Wikipedian In Residence:
- Raphael is an entrepreneur and an open source activist. He has been a Wikipedian since 2012, an active member of the Ghanaian User Group and has been involved on most projects by the Community. Contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Olushola Olaniyan, Nigeria Lead and Wikipedian In Residence:
- An accountant, financial consultant, Wikipedian and co-founder of the Wikimedia User Group Nigeria (WUGN), Olushola has participated in several open and Wikimedia programs and has created and run the Wikipedia “Adopt a School Series” and the Wiki Loves Nigeria Writing Contest to commemorate the 15 years anniversary of Wikipedia. In April 2014, he was elected Treasurer of Free and Open Source Software for Africa (FOSSFA). Contact him on: email@example.com
About Wiki Loves Women
The Wiki Loves Women project seeks to fill two major subject gaps – women and Africa – on the free encyclopedia Wikipedia. These gaps exist both in content on these two themes, but also in terms of participation in the editorial level.
The Wiki Loves Women project was designed by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood to align with the WikiAfrica movement and is run in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut. It takes place in four sub-Saharan African countries, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria. The proposal and project documentation are published under CC BY SA 4.0.
About the Goethe-Institut
The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach. We promote knowledge of the German language abroad and foster international cultural cooperation. We convey a comprehensive picture of Germany by providing information on Germany’s cultural, social and political life. The Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg regulates the work in the Sub-Saharan countries. Its activities in this region have a special focus on strengthening the pan-African dialogue, and on promoting mobile access to information and education.
WikiAfrica is an international movement that takes place on the African continent and beyond. It encourages individuals, interested groups and organisations to create, expand and enhance online content about Africa. This involves motivating for the representation of the continent’s contemporary realities and history, its peoples and its innovations on the world’s most used encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.
In its various guises and hosted at several institutions (including Lettera27, Africa Centre, Yorg, Short Story Day Africa and Wikimedia CH), the WikiAfrica movement has consistently instigated and led multi-faceted innovative projects. These projects have activated communities and driven content onto Wikipedia. Examples include Share Your Knowledge, #OpenAfrica training courses, Toolkits, Kumusha Bus (in Ethiopia and Ghana), WikiEntrepreneur (in Ethiopia and Malawi), Kumusha Takes Wiki and Wiki Loves Africa.
Over 2016/17 it is working on Wiki Loves Women (in collaboration with the Goethe Institute), WikiPack Africa, WikiFundi and the WikiChallenge African Schools (funded by the Orange Foundation), Wikipedia Primary and Wiki Loves Africa.