Image via Art + Feminism Tumblr
When a Wikipedia article is expertly written, its reader thinks rarely of the person who wrote it–their gender, age, educational background, etc. It is when Wikipedia entries are conspicuously biased, wrong or altogether absent, that we begin to think about the people behind this supposedly objective encyclopedic enterprise. It turns out that Wikipedia editors are overwhelmingly male, which, unfortunately, correlates to the depressing, lacking representation of notable women reflected in Wikipedia’s pages.
A 2010 United Nations University survey reported that:
Overall, the average age of the Wikipedians that participated in the survey is 25.22 years…There is a slight age difference between readers and contributors – readers are, on average, 24.79 years old while contributors show an average age of 26.14 years. Finally, female respondents are younger (23.79 years) than male ones (25.69 years). […]
Contributors show a substantially larger share of males than readers. Among respondents only 12.64% of contributors are female.
A subsequent survey by the Wikimedia Foundation in 2011 found that less than 8.5% of contributors are female. The 2015 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon hopes to make a sizable contribution toward changing the problematic gender dynamics of Wikipedia. Organized by Siân Evans/Art Libraries Society of North America’s Women and Art Special Interest Group, Dorothy Howard, Jacqueline Mabey and Michael Mandiberg, with support from POWarts and the Museum of Modern Art, the 2015 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon will take place this Saturday at MoMA from 11am–5pm. During this time, expert Wikipedia editors will give tutorials on Wikipedia editing for beginners.
For more information, check out the Wikipedia page for the event here.