Dear all, 

I am not sure if this was forwarded to the India list
but Huffington post has a guest blog post from Netha this week.
Congratulations Netha! :) 



---------- Forwarded
message ----------
 Date: Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at
11:54 PM
Subject: [Wmfcc-l] [PRESS] Wikipedia: Towards Closing the
Gender Gap (Huffington Post UK - guest blog by Wikipedian Netha

 WikiWoman Netha Hussain wrote a guest blog for Huffington Post UK

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A medical student, blogger and




Posted: 09/02/2013 21:49 

Wikipedia  [5], Gender Gap  [6], Wikipedia Editors  [7], Ada
Lovelace  [8], Equality  [9], Open Knowledge  [10],Women  [11], UK Tech
News [12]  

Submit this story    

Most of us know Wikipedia as the
free online encyclopedia, written collaboratively by millions of
volunteers from around the world. I am one [13] of those writers for the
last 3 years. It was by writing articles about medical sciences that I
started contributing to Wikipedia. Later, I was intrigued by the
enormous volume of information available on Wikipedia, and was curious
to find out who actually write them - which made me delve into the
editor demographics. It really made me upset when I figured out that
only around 9% [14] of the contributors to Wikipedia are women. In fact,
I knew that so few women write on Wikipedia, but I hadn't expected the
figure to be as low as 9 percent. 

Diversity of opinion is the essence
of any encyclopedia. Having equal representation from women will bring
in wider perspectives, and increase the neutrality of the articles on
Wikipedia. With men creating most of the content for Wikipedia, certain
subjects might be covered more than a subject that may be of interest to
women. Women not writing on Wikipedia mean that certain subjects may not
be receiving the attention they rightfully deserve. 

The Wikimedia
Foundation, the not-for-profit organization that hosts Wikipedia, had
recognized this problem sooner than I did. The Wikimedia Foundation has
launched various programs to bridge the gender gap, and the latest
addition to the list is the WikiWomen's Collaborative [15]. 

WikiWomen's Collaborative was created in September 2012 by women around
the world who edit Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, and want to
encourage others to do the same. The project was aimed at helping women
and transwomen to support one another and engage in programs that help
the Wikimedian community to bring in new women editors. A variety of
events [16], like edit-a-thons, interviews and wikiwomen parties were
conducted as a part of the collaborative. 

In May 2012, a WikiWomenCamp
[17] was organized for women in the Wikimedia movement to get together
and discuss about the various issues related to being women involved in
the Wikimedia community with like-minded women. Over 20 women from
different countries participated in the camp to brainstorm solutions for
existing problems that concern women, and suggest future plans to
collaborate with one another. It is customary to conduct a WikiWomen's
luncheon [18] at Wikimania [19], the global gathering of Wikimedians,
exclusively for the women participants. 

Organizations like the Ada
Initiative [20], named for the world's first programmer Countess Ada
Lovelace, support women working with open knowledge projects like
Wikipedia by creating resources for women in open stuff, conducting
conferences and advising organizations on supporting women. 

outreach programs were conducted in women's universities all over the
world to encourage students to participate in the Wikimedia movement.
The Women's History month edit-a-thons conducted every year, attracts
both male and female editors to write biographies of notable women on

The Wikimedia Foundation has set a goal to raise the share
of female contributors to 25% by 2015. Given the good response from the
community to various events conducted for women, it is likely that the
foundation will achieve its goal within the set time limit. 

If you
would like to get engaged in various activities for women in Wikipedia,
you are welcome to write to me [21] or join us here [22]. 

 >>Mind the gap! Support
Wikipedia women's outreach: donate today [23]

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