We are all aware of the large reach and popularity of Wikipedia. However, what most people don’t know is that, according to a study conducted in 2011, only 9% of the editors at Wikipedia were women. And the percentage for India is even lower, just 3%.
Wikipedia recognises the systemic gender bias that is created because of factors such as these and thus enables its diverse range of users to edit and create Wiki pages, with reliable and authentic sources.
Feminism in India and Breakthrough India have joined hands for a series of monthly Wikipedia edit-a-thons exploring various facets of gender in India, thus increasing content on women and marginalized communities on Wikipedia as well as training women to create and edit Wikipedia pages and hence increasing the number of women editors.
In October, we held a Wikipedia Editathon on Indian Women Poets and Authors. November being Pride month in Delhi, we decided to focus on the LGBTQIA+ community, more specifically on LBT women. For this, we collaborated with Nazariya, an NGO that works with LBT women, to help us with the research.
On on November 19, FII, BT and Nazariya co-hosted a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on “Indian Queer Feminists” at Breakthrough’s Delhi office. The edit-a-thon was aimed at creating/editing wikipedia pages of Indian queer feminists who lack representation on the platform currently.
Hola folks, we have began our #WikipediaEditathon on #QueerFeminists. Are you joining us? https://t.co/76MFcREFWW pic.twitter.com/Ncm4ITqLLl
— Feminism in India (@FeminismInIndia) November 19, 2016
Keeping this in mind, Nazariya created a list of some Indian queer feminists and looked at their representation in Wikipedia. Most of the names on the list did not have any Wiki presence. We were a group of 16 participants in total.
We are all set to edit pages of #queer #feminists. Super excited! pic.twitter.com/vkvl47OYko
— Breakthrough India (@INBreakthrough) November 19, 2016
A very interesting thing happened at this Wikipedia Editathon, we had a group of five M.Phil/PhD scholars from the Department of Punjabi, Delhi University who are also part of the Punjabi Wikipedia community. They were all pros and had been editing Wikipedia since 3-8 years. They helped other participants with briefing and errors.
Indian queer feminists who did not have any Wikipedia presence at all, now have pages in English and Punjabi post our event. Below is the list of participants and the pages they created/edited.
- Japleen Pasricha: Pramada Menon (English)
- Gaurav: Chayanika Shah (Punjabi)
- Tariq: Shals Mahajan (English)
- Manjeet: Ketki Ranade (Punjabi)
- Jagvir Kaur: Pramada Menon (Punjabi), Maya Sharma (Punjabi)
- Sonia: Radhika Chandiramani (English)
- Satdeep: Sumathi Murthy (English and Punjabi)
- Medha: Rituparna Borah (English) – page deleted
- Nitesh: Akanksha (Punjabi)
- Vartika Pande and Madhurita Goswami: Betu Singh (English)
- Ritambhara: Sappho for Equality (English)
- Aina Singh: Nazariya (English)
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