UNESCO wants to bridge the gender gap in the digital space
March 8, 2019
Only 17% of biographies published on Wikipedia are about women.
UNESCO aims to increase the visibility of women in the digital space by organizing a global call for contribution, the “Edit-a-thon”, on International Women’s Day, 8 March.
The objective is clear: everywhere in the world, people will be invited to create, edit or translate new Wikipedia pages of portraits of women who have played a key role or who still contribute today in the fields of education, science, culture, and communication.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, the UNESCO #WIKI4WOMEN initiative invites everyone to take a few minutes of their time in order to create, enrich or translate, in as many languages as possible, Wikipedia profiles of women. The global edit-a-thon is meant to honor those women who have excelled in the fields of education, science, culture, social and human sciences, or communication and information.
On 8 March, UNESCO New Delhi Office, along with other UNESCO Field Offices (Bangkok, Almaty, Cairo, Lima, Buenos Aires), and with its Headquarters in Paris, will host contributors and online. The event in New Delhi is being organized jointly with Embassy of Sweden, UN Women and Wikimedia Foundation, at UNESCO House (1 San Martin Marg Chanakyapuri). It will be attended by over 60 participants, that will include UNESCO and UN staff, partners, representatives of civil society, students, and the general public, among others. Such collaborative efforts we are sure will increase the visibility of women and their extraordinary accomplishments.
Throughout the world, women continue to make significant contributions to society, but they remain nearly invisible in the digital sphere. Although more than 25,000 Wikipedia profiles are created every day, only a small percentage of biographies written is about women. With active participation, this trend can be reversed. Thus, by writing the stories of overlooked women, gender equality can ultimately be achieved.
#WIKI4WOMEN is an initiative led by UNESCO and Wikimedia, with the support of Canada, Iceland, Republic of Korea, Fondation CHANEL, ENGIE, The New York Times, France Médias Monde and the Journée de la Femme Digitale.
UNESCO considers gender equality as a fundamental human right, a building block for social justice and an economic necessity. It is a critical factor for the achievement of all internationally agreed development goals, as well as a goal, in and of itself.