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.
Since the Asian Games 2018 is ongoing, FII dedicated August 2018’s Wikipedia Editathon to Indian Women Athletes. The editathon was organised at Twitter India‘s New Delhi office to increase the representation of the women athletes who are currently at the Asian Games 2018 as well as to teach a new skill of creating and editing articles on Wikipedia to the youth.
We’re at the lovely @TwitterIndia HQ for our #Wikipedia Editathon on Indian Women Athletes in honour of #AsianGames2018! We’re at Lado Sarai, Saket. If you’re around, come join us for a fun feminist Saturday! #FIIWikiProject
— Feminism in India (@FeminismInIndia) August 25, 2018
Accordingly, we created a list of women athletes at the Asian Games 2018 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 7 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 athlete absent from Wikipedia, and started digging through the internet looking for interviews, news reports and e-books that mentioned their chosen athlete to write comprehensive Wikipedia articles on them.
By the end of the day, the participants had edited about 10 articles in English and Hindi. See additional statistics here.