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, globally only 9% of the editors on 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 Wikipedia pages, with reliable and authentic sources.
Feminism in India conducts monthly Wikipedia edit-a-thons with different organisations 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.
For September, we collaborated with Khoj International Artists’ Association and co-hosted one on Women In Contemporary Indian Art at Khoj Studios. The edit-a-thon was aimed at creating/editing Wikipedia pages of Indian women artists who lack representation on the platform currently.
The Khoj team prepared a list of women artists a week before the edit-a-thon, while most of the names did not have a page on Wikipedia, some had pages with very basic and limited information (stub pages). We used online resources and the extensive Khoj Library for references.
— Feminism in India (@FeminismInIndia) September 16, 2017
We were a group of 17 participants in total. The event began with a discussion on Wikipedia and its gender gap and on the whys and hows of Wikipedia editing for new-comers.
After that, each participant chose one or more Indian woman artist absent from Wikipedia, and started digging through the internet looking for interviews, news reports and e-books as well as through the Khoj library that mentioned their chosen artist to write comprehensive Wikipedia articles on them.
By the end of the day, the participants edited a total of 18 Wikipedia pages in English, out of which 14 were newly created articles.
- Gargi Raina: Japleen
- Navjot Altaf: Mahika
- CAMP (Studio): Mila
- Rohini Devasher: Mario
- Prajakta Potnis: Vartika
- Seher Shah: Pekhna
- Shilpa Gupta: Mukesh
- Nilima Sheikh: Raunaq
- Madhavi Parekh: Mahima
- Mrinalini Mukherjee: Stuti
- Anju Dodiya: Aru
- Surekha: Purandhya
- Archana Hande: Hira
- Homai Vyrawalla: Mila
- Vasudha Thozhur: Mahika
- Gauri Gill: Aditi
- Neha Choksi: Shivi
- Mithu Sen: Shruti