People in two dozen countries wrote deserving women into Wikipedia earlier this month in the third annual Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon. By teaching new editors how to create and edit articles, the global effort—with events on six continents—mobilized new editors focused on creating and editing articles on women in the arts.
Outcomes for this year’s event have not yet been calculated, but last year’s saw 1500 people convene in 75 locations in 17 countries to create 400 Wikipedia articles and improve 500 others.
Events at some 125 venues were planned this month, all supported by a team of dedicated coordinators and volunteers from around the world—although they took care to make the model sustainable and easily adaptable for anyone to put on a local Art+Feminism event.
Why are these events so important? In 2011, the Wikimedia Foundation conducted a survey that showed that just 9% of Wikipedia’s editors were female. This gender disparity means that content on Wikimedia sites can be skewed to a male perspective; only 15% of the English-language Wikipedia’s biographies are about women, for instance.
Many other events are also helping to address the challenge of representing women better on Wikipedia. The Smithsonian Institution hosted events this month to focus on increasing representation of women scientists and women of color on Wikipedia, something you can still help with, and Wikipedian Emily Temple-Wood is turning harassment into new articles on women scientists by writing one for each trolling email she receives.
If you are interested in attending one of these or a similar event, you can find a Wikipedia meetup near you.
The video above is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, meaning that you can use it anywhere, for any purpose, as long as you attribute the video’s creator (Victor Grigas) and share it under a similar license. You can read more on the Wikimedia Commons or view it on Vimeo or Youtube.
Ed Erhart, Editorial Associate
Samantha Lien, Communications Associate