What Happens When Women Don’t Tell Their Own Stories? Wikipedia’s Massive Gender Gap and How to Change It.
By Eva Berlin, Digital Content Specialist, High Museum of Art
Wikipedia is the world’s largest and most popular online research tool. The web-based encyclopedia offers a wealth of well-cited information contributed by people like you and me. And it’s all available for free.
So, what’s the problem?
Women’s voices and stories are too often absent from the platform.
According to a 2011 survey, less than 11% of Wikipedia’s editors are women, and less than 17% of Wikipedia’s biographies are about women. That leaves us with a staggering lack of representation.
When we looked at women artists with work in the High Museum of Art’s collection, we found that plenty of them have weak Wikipedia pages, or no page at all.
It’s frustrating to see these old patterns of bias and exclusion play out on such a modern platform — but together we can create change.
This year, the High Museum is excited to host its first Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon.
The Art+Feminism movement began in 2014, and now feminist Edit-a-Thons are held all over the world at museums, universities, libraries, and other cultural institutions. Join us for the Edit-a-Thon and be part of an international movement to improve coverage of women in the arts on Wikipedia.
No Wikipedia experience is necessary! We will provide training sessions for beginner Wikipedians. Even if you’re editing-averse, come by to show your support and enjoy the festivities. People of all gender identities are welcome! Come and:
- Take a gallery tour and learn about women artists
- Become a Wikipedia editor — it’s easier than you think!
- Edit, improve, and create articles related to art, gender, and intersectional feminism, with a focus on women artists in the High’s collection
- Express yourself in the feminist feedback station and photo booth, make a button to show your feminist pride, and support women makers with our feminist Shop feature
This event is about information activism. Knowledge is power — and, together we’ve got plenty of it.
Let’s close the gender gap on Wikipedia. Let’s educate our communities about the extraordinary, and often overlooked, accomplishments of cis and transgender women artists. Let’s empower women and girls to know their history and their power. Let’s use our voices to create a more equal future!