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 December, we chose the topic Women Human Rights Defenders in honour of Human Rights Day on December 10 and hosted an Editathon on Women Human Rights Defenders at FII office. The edit-a-thon was aimed at creating/editing Wikipedia pages of Indian women human rights defenders who lack representation on the platform currently.
The FII Team prepared a list of women human rights defenders a week before the edit-a-thon, while most of the names did have a page on Wikipedia, they had very basic and limited information (stub pages). We used online resources for references.
Wikipedia editing is underway! #WikipediaEditathon pic.twitter.com/npMpZTxG6d
— Feminism in India (@FeminismInIndia) December 16, 2017
We were a group of 4 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 human rights defender absent from Wikipedia, and started digging through the internet looking for interviews, news reports and e-books to write comprehensive Wikipedia articles on them.
By the end of the day, the participants edited a total of 10 Wikipedia pages in English.
- Malini Chib: Japleen
- Ruth Manorama: Asmita
- Chetna Gala Sinha: Shruti
- Amla Ruia: Mahika
- Mary Roy: Shruti
- Champa Devi Shukla: Japleen
- Jasmeen Patheja: Shruti
- Mayilamma: Mahika
- Rashida Bee: Japleen
- Agnes Kharshiing: Mahika