IIT-B students, faculty attempt to make Wikipedia gender equal

Published on Mar 07, 2020 12:12 AM IST
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ByPriyanka Sahoo, Mumbai

In the run-up to International Women’s Day, students and faculty members of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) are hosting a four-day ‘WikiGap’ edit-a-thon, an event organised by the Consulate General of Sweden that gathers people around the world to add more content to Wikipedia about women icons, experts and role models in various fields.

The event organised in association with Wikimedia India, Idobro Impact Solutions and Centre for Policy Studies, commenced on Friday with an introductory session and will conclude on March 9, a day after the International Women’s Day.

According to a statement by the institute, there are four times more articles about men than women on Wikipedia, globally. To bridge this gap in representation of women, the WikiGap edit-a-thon will engage students and staff from several departments of IIT-B to write on the theme ‘Women in Sciences, Politics and Social Empowerment’.

“Women have made enormous contributions in sciences, politics and social empowerment and continue to do so. Yet the recognition for these women is not as widespread as it should be,” said Swati Patankar, dean (international relations) and a faculty in the department of bio-science and bio-engineering at IIT-B.

Rahul Deshmukh, president of Wikimedia India, said, while an almost equal number of men and women read content on Wikipedia, very few women edit content.

“Through WikiGap, Sweden aims to bridge the gender gap on Wikipedia,” Bjorn Holmgren, consul, consulate general of Sweden, Mumbai.

Meanwhile, a road painting event for students at IIT-B campus on Friday courted controversy after unknown persons blackened a painting of a burqa-clad woman depicting the Shaheen Bagh protests in New Delhi. Another painting of the institute’s name written in Urdu, too, was blackened.

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