Wikipedia’s Wiki Loves Women project will look at gender inequality which is rife across Africa and, although much progress has been made to address inequalities in the workplace and society, especially with regards to information, news and knowledge both online and offline, these issues will be raised in Wikipedia’s Wiki Loves Women project.
The project addresses this bias and also focuses on bridging two significant subjects on Wikipedia, women and Africa in terms of content about these subjects, with participation by people interested in these topics and the contribution of information from other institutions.
The project is designed to leverage Wikipedia’s role as a global repository for the dissemination of information to achieve accessible and fair online representation of women.
The Wiki Loves Women project will operate in four countries, including South Africa, to encourage the contribution of existing researched and verified information from a number of groups and institutions to Wikipedia.
The donated data and content will specifically focus on women’s contribution to the political, economic, scientific, cultural and heritage landscape, as well as the current socio-political status of women in each country.
Brigitte Doellgast, head of the library and information department at the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, explained the concept behind the project. “One of our key interests is to explore future ways of building and sharing knowledge,” said Doellgast.
“Wiki Loves Women will use the digital space as a means of participation, challenging biased views of the African continent and the contribution of women to its societies.”
Coinciding with the launch of Wiki Loves Women is the celebration of 15 years of Wikipedia this year, and WikiAfrica has chosen to celebrate this milestone by organising a bilingual (English and French) writing contest to increase the number of biographies on notable African women on Wikipedia.
The Goethe-Institut and WikiAfrica are fighting for women the world over, starting by addressing the need in Africa.