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 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.

The participants

In May 2018, FII organised a Wikipedia Editathon on Indian Women Authors at our New Delhi office, to increase the representation of women authors from India as well as to teach a new skill of creating and editing articles on Wikipedia to the youth.

Accordingly, we created a list of women authors from India and looked at their representation on Wikipedia. A lot of the names on the list did not have any Wikipedia pages, while the ones which did, had very basic and limited information (stub pages).

We were a group of 8 editors in total, out of which two participated remotely. The event began with a discussion on the whys and hows of Wikipedia editing for new-comers.

After that, each participant chose one or more woman author absent from Wikipedia, and started digging through the internet looking for interviews, news reports and e-books that mentioned their chosen author to write comprehensive Wikipedia articles on them.

By the end of the day, the participants had created 4 new Wikipedia pages and edited 9 articles. See additional statistics here.

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