Making women’s history matter: Female presence in and through Wikipedia

ALEMANY, Dolores (2017) Making women’s history matter: Female presence in and through Wikipedia. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session S15 - Satellite Meeting: Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group. In: LIS professionals supporting women living in conflict situations, 16 August 2017, Bratislava (Slovakia).

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Making women’s history matter: Female presence in and through Wikipedia

Wikipedia, “this very peculiar artefact of human knowledge” (Bellomi & Bonato, 2005: 2), has come to stay. Yet the powerful access it provides to worldwide data that started with the XXI century –although a successful example of participatory culture– seems to be rather gender biased. A close examination of statistics as regards to the presence of biographies of women will show up to what point females are under-represented. The fact that Wikipedia biographies can help add visibility to women of all times should make us conscious about the presence (or else, absence) of notable women in Wikipedia. In this research, the focus will be on Spanish social reformers and civil rights women activists, analysing specifically the period covering the 1930s and the Spanish civil war. Besides, the case of women editing about women will be explored to illustrate the current state of the visibility of women in and through Wikipedia. Women’s equality, unfortunately, does not follow automatically from social revolutions. Raising awareness about the situation of women locally and internationally and creating networks of activists is the only guarantee of women being the protagonists of their own history. It is important to get more women involved in Wikipedia volunteer edit-a-thon events to write updated profiles of brilliant women that may still be out of history.

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