In-line :-

On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 12:50, Bishakha Datta <> wrote:


> Hey Shirish,

Dear Bishaka,

> Been talking to lots of women about this - one barrier I'm finding from
> informal chats with many women in India who are otherwise comfy with the net
> is technical. At the first Mumbai meetup in Sept 2010, women who blog etc
> regularly said they found the editing interface much harder to use, so
> tried, then abandoned it.

While I do accept the part of the interface being technical and can be
made more pleasant/easy (something like perhaps and
which has been discussed to death in off-line sessions) what would
also be perhaps cool for them is to able to use lot of real-world
analogies to the audience so that they are able to understand stuff.

Just to take an example, about a year/year and a half ago had gone to
McLeodganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh and had done a GNU/Linux
workshop for around 10-15 days by self. The main audience were
hitchikers/backpackers/people seeking spiritual answers. Because I
have been all that and know their language intimately was able to
share both experiences as well as some knowledge.

It was a week affair but all of us benefitted from the same. I didn't
document this on the blog because people usually equate GNU/Linux to
seriousness or serious people and not with fun etc. Similar is the
case of wikipedia.

Now, obviously, somebody would have to do something similar so it
feels safe,secure and loving environment to learn and ask questions.

> At the Kolkata wiki 10 meetup in Jan 2011, a woman who had attended an
> earlier meetup requested a wiki workshop for a group of women - she wanted a
> separate workshop for women only so that women could really understand how
> to edit and work through the editing interface and ask basic questions
> without appearing stupid or ignorant. She felt constrained to ask these
> questions in the more technologically-sophisticated environment of the
> regular meetups.

Know what you mean, see above. The same also happens during geek
workshops, of course once you have been in it for a long time you
develop a thick skin and are able to ask things to your heart's
content. But for a newbie it can be scary for sure.

> Also, many women who are interested in editing are not necessarily willing
> to learn how to edit + related policies on their own.

True. It would have to somehow tailored to them.

> So yes, helpers and guides would be great - as well as workshops both aimed
> specifically at women, and general workshops where we encourage more women
> to participate. (We don't want to lump women into a separate category
> necessarily, but if we really want to encourage more women to edit, we do
> need to address barriers *they* identify as well - so a mixed strategy would
> be great.)


> Also, while we should, of course, continue to do workshops at IITs, VJTI and
> other technical institutes, there's already a gender gap at these institutes
> - where there are many more men than women. If we only look for women where
> there are largely men, we are unlikely to find them. So it would be good to
> look for IT or related departments at women's colleges such as SNDT etc too.

agree as well.

> There are many other barriers, some general, some specific to women, as is
> being discussed on gendergap...just wanted to highlight this.
> Cheers
> Bishakha

One should not also forget when targetting one party there could be
other side-benefits which end up benefitting the whole community which
perhaps can't be seen now. For instance, better documentation which is
still a core issue in many a project/s.

          Shirish Agarwal  शिरीष अग्रवाल
  My quotes in this email licensed under CC 3.0
065C 6D79 A68C E7EA 52B3  8D70 950D 53FB 729A 8B17

Wikimediaindia-l mailing list

Reply via email to