Women Are Editing Wikipedia for Equality
Mar 1, 2016
Wikipedia is known for its broad collection of information and its massive audience of 500 million unique visitors each month.
It's hard to tell exactly how many Wiki editors are women. Some surveys have revealed that about 8.5 to 16 percent of editors are female. Even the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, admitted the foundation failed to fix its gender imbalance.
To address the lack of diversity on the site, women and minorities have been leading efforts in editing Wikipedia to accurately reflect stories of prominent women and people of color. The edit-a-thons have been hosted by various groups — most recently AfroCROWD, a New York City-based initiative to build Wikipedia's coverage of black history and culture.
The organization's founder, Alice Backer, said in an interview, if black movements can use Twitter to shape their narratives and provide eyewitness accounts, why not redress the same bias in Wikipedia?
It's been noted that at most of AfroCROWD's events, the editors have been at least 50 percent women, a much larger percentage than that of WIkipedia editors.
Women have voiced their frustrations about Wikipedia's lack of diversity across social media:
When you follow her name, it goes to her HUSBAND'S Wikipedia entry. That's not acceptable. Women in history deserve their own identities— Elsa S. Henry (@snarkbat) March 1, 2016
Also notable women in computing with no Wikipedia page. Going to make time to help fix that as well!— ankita industrious (@ankita) February 19, 2016
Other initiatives to redress the gender bias in Wikipedia include the WikiProject "Women In Red," which has one essential objective: to add more biographies of women to the site. The project states a startling fact that less than 16 percent of the English Wikipedia's biographies are about women.
We hope the movement to redress the biases in Wikipedia (modern day's living and breathing encyclopedia) continues, placing emphasis on the diverse stories of all women.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne