The Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome and The Bedford Centre recently organised a Wikipedia editing workshop with the aim of improving gender representation and equality online. Currently, between 84-91% of English-language Wikipedia editors are men, with 83% of biographies being about men.
The session was led by Wikimedia UK trainers and allowed participants to set up their own Wikipedia accounts and were introduced to the skills required for editing and creating Wikipedia entries, exploring best practice for representing women’s lives online.
The event highlighted the pedagogical significance of engaging with Wikipedia, the largest and most influential repository of knowledge in the world, and an inevitable source of interaction for our students.
During the session participants edited over 16 articles featuring women, including the creation of an article for the Original English Ladies Cricketers, the first recorded paid women’s cricket teams. Wikimedia’s 2017 Strategic Direction includes a focus on '[…] the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege'.
Our College hopes to play a role in this through supporting and promoting future editing workshops and empowering both students and colleagues to ensure all marginalised voices are promoted and celebrated online.
For further information about the gendered bias of Wikipedia, please read Dr Victoria Leonard’s article in the Guardian on the marginalisation of female scholars on Wikipedia.
If you are interested in taking part in a future event, or organising a workshop for students or colleagues, please contact Victoria Leonard or Liz Gloyn.
'Writing your own history is another tool of empowerment; has a transformative impact.
And for others, [they] can now access the history of people that have previously been invisible.'
Gender Diversity Mapping, WikiConference North America 2017.