Closing the Wikipedia Gender Gap

Thursday, March 22 – The Oxford Library partnered with ReVision and Professor of Art History and Studio Art Dr. Tasha Dobbin-Bennett to host Oxford’s annual Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon. The event focused on expanding, creating, and editing Wikipedia pages for women artists and artist of other underrepresented genders. Panera catered food and drinks, and overall the event was well attended.

In all, 1310 words were added to 17 articles, and 29 total edits were made by 17 editors. However, even these unexpected high numbers are an underrepresentation of the total contribution, because some some editors forgot to log into the website tracking the edits.

Teaching and Learning Librarian Courtney Baron was the Edit-a-thon’s lead coordinator. She had this to say about the event: “Wikipedia’s gender gap is well-documented: a 2011 study showed less than 13% of Wikipedia contributors are female. The lack of female participation skews the content and creates an alarming absence in the world’s most used encyclopedia. As a teaching librarian, it’s especially rewarding to help students make their research accessible to the world.”

ReVision Vice President Nikita Rednam commented on the significance of the event, pointing out the importance of media exposure: “I think it was important for a lot of people to attend this event because women are very underrepresented on many sources of media and I think it was a really great initiative that we were able to give them the recognition they deserve.”

Dr. Dobbin-Bennett’s Art History 102 class is also working in conjunction with this event and doing their own Art + Feminism Wikipedia project in which they research a female artist and add to her Wikipedia page. Many from the class also attended the Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon event.


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