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 September 28 is globally celebrated as International Safe Abortion Day, FII and Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (ASAP) joined hands to organise a Wikipedia Editathon. The editathon was organised at 91springboard‘s New Delhi office in Jhandewalan to increase the representation of abortion-related pages of India and Asia-Pacific as well as to teach a new skill of creating and editing articles on Wikipedia to the youth.
Today is #Wikipedia day at FII and this month we are editing #abortion related pages on the occasion of #Sept28 #SafeAbortionDay. Joining us are @asapasia @lovemattersinfo and @PFI3. #LetsTalkAbortion #FIIWikiProject pic.twitter.com/VGVR5hoRaL
— Feminism in India (@FeminismInIndia) September 28, 2018
Accordingly, we created a list of abortion activists, organisations working on abortion and abortion law and rights in various countries in Asia 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 and we all watched FII’s latest video which shows women sharing their abortion stories.
After that, each participant chose one or more abortion-related page absent from Wikipedia, and started digging through the internet looking for interviews, news reports and e-books that mentioned their chosen activist, organisation or topic to write comprehensive Wikipedia articles on them.
By the end of the day, the participants had edited about 10 articles in English. See additional statistics here.