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.
Everyone knew about the FIFA World Cup, but did you know that the Women’s Hockey Cup 2018 began on July 21, 2018 and that the Indian women’s hockey team qualified for it? In July 2018, FII organised a Wikipedia Editathon on the Indian Women’s Hockey Team at our New Delhi office, to increase the representation of the women’s hockey team as well as to teach a new skill of creating and editing articles on Wikipedia to the youth.
— Feminism in India (@FeminismInIndia) July 28, 2018
Accordingly, we created a list of women hockey players 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 9 editors in total. 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 hockey player absent from Wikipedia, and started digging through the internet looking for interviews, news reports and e-books that mentioned their chosen player to write comprehensive Wikipedia articles on them.
By the end of the day, the participants had created 3 new Wikipedia pages and edited 15 articles. See additional statistics here.
Amudha, one of the participants, said, “It was my first time at an event like this. It felt great to learn so much about these talented women who represent our country. While the lack of substantial information about them seemed discouraging, it felt empowering to part of such a project that helps in highlighting the achievements of women. It was heartening to witness people come together and take part in this initiative and do their bit to reduce the gap of representation of women.”