The online encyclopedia is the 6th most visited site in the world. And yet, it is only part of it. 84% of articles devoted to important personalities concern men. Initiatives are multiplying to improve the representation of women in articles.
At the end of the weekend, Wikipedia will have a few more about women, their works or their work. On Saturday September 30, the Gait Tyrique is organizing simultaneously in Paris, Bourges and Brussels, a publishing marathon, this is sometimes called an edit-a-thon.
The principle is simple: get together to learn about online encyclopedia editing techniques and create or Wikipedia Biography Template Download. If this type of event is multiplying across the world, it is because the situation is now well known: women are largely absent from Wikipedia. And this at all levels.
This online encyclopedia can be written by anyone, in a voluntary, collaborative and neutral manner. Only women make up only about 10% of the people who write it. The typical contributor is a 30-year-old white male with a high degree of education. However, what is true elsewhere is confirmed online: the profile of the authors is reflected in the content.
16% of Wikipedia Biographies Templates are of Women
To cite just one figure, of the 450,000 biographies that can be found on French Wikipedia, only 16% concern women. A weak presence that we find throughout the articles. For example, just look at the actor or DJ pages to see that there are no or few women mentioned.
A sizeable stake, when we know that Wikipedia is read every month by more than 400 million people, which makes it the 6th most consulted site in the world. His articles are at the top of google searches.
The phenomenon known as gender bias is recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation itself. It supports more and more initiatives to remedy this.
The Art Feminism campaign is organizing at the same time in dozens of cities around the world contribution days, to improve the visibility of women in the fields of science, history, the arts. More and more women have their page, but the list of those still to be created is still long. This is what the Sans Pages project is working on.
It was after participating in one of these contributory days that Loraine Further launched with a few other Just for the Record, a project on the representation of genres on Wikipedia, and its influence on the writing of history and know. Because to “the quantitative aspect is added a problem of representation. Women are still often described through stereotypes, or through their family relationships (wife of, daughter of ….). “, She explains.
“ Known as his brother Henry Less “ and recently started up the page of the feminist and pacifist Belgian Leoni La Fontaine ..
“A symbolic example is the article “heroine” which does not exist in French, and whose disambiguation page refers to the “hero” page. Supposed to be neutral, it presented above all male hero figures, “says Loraine. The project volunteers have therefore worked on this page.” Writing in a neutral way is not so simple: there are debates for whether to enrich the “hero” page or create a “heroine” page, or “heroism. We had also added next to Batman Cat woman, which was then removed”.
Anyone can contribute, but not everyone
If the encyclopedia is open to everyone, why are few women there? The question is now the subject of more and more studies.
Among the causes identified to explain the low number of female contributors, there is in particular the fact that women have less free time and a feeling of less legitimacy. Also at stake is the ability to endure conflicts within the community of contributors when publishing something.
In a study for the London School of Economics, two researchers Heather Ford and Judy Wajcman go further. For them, more female contributors will not be enough to change the situation. The under-representation of women is not explained only by the social characteristics of the people who contribute, but by the very infrastructure of Wikipedia, they argue. The very process of Wikipedia publishing tends to reproduce the same circle. To create an article, you need external, pre-existing sources; in other words, to write an article about a woman, you must already have talked about her elsewhere. In these conditions, bringing out of oblivion a certain number of well-known women remains difficult.
But on their own scale, the participants in the edit-a-thons strive, page after page, to make Wikipedia evolve.