Press release from Ministry for Foreign Affairs

WikiGap makes internet more gender equal

Published

In connection with International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is conducting a worldwide campaign for the third year in a row to make the internet more equal. In parallel, edit-a-thons aimed at increasing the number of women on Wikipedia will be held in almost 30 countries. In Sweden, a WikiGap edit-a-thon will be held at the University of Gothenburg.

Wikipedia is the world’s largest online and user-generated encyclopaedia. Its content influences and shapes readers’ view of the world. But Wikipedia has a significant gender imbalance. Ninety per cent of the content is created by men, and there are four times as many articles about men as there are about women.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Wikimedia Sweden initiated WikiGap with the goal of making Wikipedia a more accurate reflection of our world. Since the initiative began in 2018, edit-a-thons have been held in more than 60 countries, resulting in more than 35 000 new and expanded Wikipedia articles about women actors, experts and role models in various fields.

“When women’s contributions are not seen, it affects our gender equality and our democracy. Concrete efforts are needed to rectify the imbalances that exist, both in the real world and in the digital world,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde.

Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is based on the ambition to strengthen women’s and girls’ rights, representation and resources. The WikiGap initiative is part of this policy and aims to improve the representation of women on Wikipedia.

The WikiGap event in Gothenburg on 6 March is being organised in cooperation with Wikimedia Sweden and the University of Gothenburg. The theme is ‘Historic women’.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Sweden’s embassies will co-host WikiGap events with Wikimedia and local partners. WikiGap aims to provide a platform for volunteers who want to contribute to a more gender-equal internet. The theme is chosen by the organisers, but the participants are responsible for the texts they produce. During the event, the articles will not be written or edited by the missions abroad or the Ministry for Foreign Affairs; instead, this will be done by the those taking part in the edit-a-thons.

Read more about WikiGap at www.swemfa.se/wikigap

More information about WikiGap Gothenburg is available here: https://hum.gu.se/om-fakulteten/oppna-evenemang/wikigap-humanisten