On April 26th, the Rewriting Wikipedia Project will host the Global Women Wikipedia Write-In #GWWI. This virtual event is designed to encourage internet users to write entries about women from around the world into Wikipedia and to improve existing entries on these topics. The Rewriting Wikipedia Project is now a working group supported by Global Outlook::Digital Humanities (GO::DH).
Why “global women”? If you’ve ever tried doing a Wikipedia search for important women theorists around the world, you might be surprised to note how short the entries are, particularly on their work and their ideas (for example: Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Gayatri Spivak, bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldua, Vandana Shiva, and Sara Ahmed). Many important women of color, such as Oyeronke Oyewumi and Frieda Ekotto, lack entries or stubs in Wikipedia. Additionally, coverage of international events involving women is brief or nonexistent (for example: the 1929 Aba Women’s Riots in Nigeria; Domitila Barrios de Chúngara; and Angkatan Wanita Sedar or “Force of Awakened Women,” an important feminist group in Malaysian history).
These gaps in Wikipedia’s knowledge base are striking and important, especially since Wikipedia is now the most commonly referenced encyclopedia globally. These gaps–particularly the gender gap–have been subject to study. According to the Wikimedia Wikipedia’s Editor’s Survey of 2011, “If there is a typical Wikipedia editor, he has a college degree, is 30-years-old, is computer savvy but not necessarily a programmer, doesn’t actually spend much time playing games, and lives in US or Europe.”
The Global Women Wikipedia Write-In #GWWI will be the first of a series of events sponsored by the Rewriting Wikipedia Project to address inequalities in Wikipedia. It builds on the success of the #TooFEW Feminists Engage Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon in March. We welcome you to join us virtually on Friday, April 26, 2013 from 1-3PM EST for the Global Women Wikipedia Write-In #GWWI.
The Rewriting Wikipedia Project aims to encourage new people to become Wikipedia editors, to provide support for new editors, and to develop best practices for rewriting Wikipedia. During our Global Women Wikipedia Write-in #GWWI, we encourage editors to draw on their knowledge and experience to contribute entries and information on women around the world to Wikipedia.
How can you participate?
- Contribute to the list of Wikipedia entries that we should edit or improve. Add your ideas to the working list here or in the comments below. You can find ‘stub’ articles — those that have been marked as needing further information — by searching various categories.
- Sign up for a Wikipedia account (we recommend using a pseudonym).
- Watch this video to learn how to edit Wikipedia. Be sure to set aside some time for this video. It’s an hour long, and we recommend clicking on FLASH – it tends to play better that way. If you don’t have time to do this, join the hashtag on Twitter or our designated chatroom to ask questions or share your experiences.
- Review our resources for writing Wikipedia entries that stick and our useful links.
- Don’t want to write? Add images to feminist articles. Here is the image use policy for Wikipedia.
- Track our work and tweet your own using the Twitter hashtag #GWWI.
- Join us on Friday, April 26th from 1-3PM EST from your own computer
- Teachers – Do your students need extra credit? Can Rewriting Wikipedia become a class project?
- Students – Are you learning about some really cool people in Race and Ethnic Studies/Trans*/Queer/Women’s Studies/Postcolonial Studies who don’t have wiki pages or have pages with incorrect information? You can fix that!
- Friends – Do you know other folks who should know about our work? Please send this link to activists, faculty or others who might be interested in participating. Everyone is welcome!
- Organizations – Do you know organizations that have information on different communities, histories, projects that should be added to Wikipedia?
- Too swamped to edit right now but want to contribute? Add your idea to our list.