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.
On 19th January 2019, FII and TheaCare co-organised a Wikipedia editathon on women’s health campaigns at the co-working space Innov8‘s Saket office. The editathon was organised to improve the information on women’s health campaigns, professionals and organisations in 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’s health campaigns, professionals and organisations’ pages and looked at their representation on Wikipedia. We mostly expanded stub articles and also created a few articles.
We were a group of 18 editors in total, out of which 2 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 page on women’s health, and started digging through the internet looking for interviews, news reports and e-books that mentioned their chosen topic to write comprehensive Wikipedia articles on them.
By the end of the day, the participants had edited about 19 articles in English. See additional statistics here.