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Participation of women in Wikipedia editing

This is a presentation on the problem faced by Wikipedia of gender bias and gender gap. It highlights the major reasons behind less participation from women in Wikipedia editing.

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Participation of women in Wikipedia editing

  1. 1. PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN WIKI EDITING Kuhuk Jain National Law University, Delhi WikiEdit2016 11th-12th November, 2016 CIIPC National Law University, Delhi
  2. 2. Gender Problems faced by Wikipedia Issue of Gender Gap Issue of Gender Bias
  3. 3. Issue of Gender Gap •Stark difference in the number of male and female Wikipedia editors •2010 Wikimedia Foundation Survey less than 13% •2011 Wikimedia Foundation Survey globally 9% and U.S. 15%. •Wikipedia’s own article 84% to 91% male editors •Failure to meet its goal of 25% women editors by 2015
  4. 4. Issue of Gender Bias ◦Nature and quantity of Wikipedia’s content biased ◦Articles on female subjects tagged for deletion ◦Lack of information on female subjects ◦A 2015 Survey – only 15% biographical entries about women ◦Pages on notable women mention their gender and relationship status
  5. 5. Why does it matter? •Different interests and preferences being highlighted •Focus on different issues •Diversity of content it is important •Certain important issues will be skewed or get less attention •Diversity of opinion on an issue •Representation of women’s interests and needs •Online space more equitable and safer
  6. 6. Reasons for less women participation •Harassment – White example •Misogynistic atmosphere •Existing content influencing further content •Contributions likely to be reverted or deleted •Lack of self-confidence •Aversion to conflict and unwillingness to participate in edit wars •Not enough free time
  7. 7. Effect of Gender Gap and Bias Hostile Content Drives away potential female editors Lack of female editors 1. Cyclical Sexism 2. Lack of information
  8. 8. Solutions Long term: Awareness about the guidelines Proper compliance with the Wikipedia guidelines Short term: Use gender-neutral pseudonyms Avoid linking any personal information
  9. 9. References  Women through the glass ceiling: Gender asymmetries in Wikipedia, accessed at  Nine reasons women don’t edit Wikipedia, accessed at their-own-words/  Wikipedia’s hostility to women, accessed at women/411619/  Women in science on Wikipedia: will we ever fill the information gap?, accessed at will-we-ever-fill-the-information-gap  Why do so few women edit Wikipedia?, accessed at so-few-women-edit-wikipedia  WP: Clubhouse? An exploration of Wikipedia’s gender imbalance, accessed at
  10. 10. Thank You