The Stream

How are Wikipedians fighting gender bias online?

On Thursday, May 4 at 19:30 GMT:
For years, Wikipedia – the world’s largest online encyclopaedia – has ranked among the top visited websites in the world. It is likely the first result to pop up on an internet search. And since 2001, the “Free Encyclopaedia” has become a key source for online discovery and research.

But more than 80% of Wikipedia’s volunteer editors are male, and the gender imbalance is reflected in its articles, say Wikipedians working to address the site’s gender bias and lack of inclusivity.

Over the years, numerous efforts by the Wikimedia Foundation and others have been made to encourage more articles and citations focused on highlighting the accomplishments of women.

Wikipedia entries about women are less likely to be accepted and annotated by its online community of editors. A 2021 study found that 41% of Wikipedia biographies nominated for deletion were about women. That figure seems staggering given that only 19% of published Wikipedia biographies are about women, according to the Wikiproject Women in Red.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at some of the editing initiatives that are working to fight gender bias, one Wikipedia entry at a time.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Jessica Wade, @jesswade
Research fellow, Imperial College London

Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight, @rosiestep
Board trustee, Wikimedia Foundation

Kira Wisniewski, @artandfeminism
Executive director, Art+Feminism