SocietyScience & Technology Indian Women In Tech: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Indian Women In Tech: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

We organised a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Indian women in tech to increase the representation of women technologists in India and help reduce the gender gap on Wikipedia.

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 January, we chose the topic women in tech and hosted an Editathon on Indian Women In Tech at FII office. The edit-a-thon was aimed at creating/editing Wikipedia pages of Indian women in technology who lack representation on the platform currently.

The FII Team prepared a list of Indian women in tech 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.

We were a group of 10 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 in tech 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 13 Wikipedia pages in English. See additional statistics here.

Shivangi, one of the participants said, “It was a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon organized by Feminism In India. Our target was to minimize the gender gap that is observed in Wikipedia. I elaborated information about Rajeshwari Chatterjee, who was the first woman scientist from Karnataka. It was interesting to work on promoting something that even I was not aware of earlier. I got a chance to learn about some amazing women who have not got a privilege to be known for their contributions. I thank FII for taking such an initiative and wish them luck.”

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