Empowering RIT community members to advance the representation of women on Wikipedia | March 2019
Newsletter March 2019
Empowering RIT community members to advance the representation of women on Wikipedia
RIT Libraries will host their third annual Women on Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Friday, March 22, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in celebration of Women’s History Month. Their goal is to inspire and enable any RIT community member to improve the representation of women on Wikipedia, and no prior experience is necessary! This event is free and open to the public.
Wikipedia is the fifth most visited website globally, but it has received criticism for its representation of women. Only 16% of biographies on Wikipedia are about women, and they are more likely to be described by their relationships than their accomplishments. Organized edit-a-thons like Women on Wikipedia build a community around developing underrepresented content by increasing the diversity of editors and empowering participants to improve content both during and after the event.
“Millions of people around the world are using Wikipedia every day. Contributing to Wikipedia is a really meaningful way to advance public knowledge of women’s history and accomplishments,” said Sara May, Marketing and Communications Manager at RIT Libraries and one of the co-organizers of the event.
In 2018, event participants improved the representation of 204 women on Wikipedia who are noted for their accomplishments in various fields, like astronomy, medicine, animation, and sports. RIT Libraries also welcomed 25 new editors to Wikipedia as inexperienced participants learned the fundamental principles and best practices of Wikipedia and how to make edits on the site.
New this year, RIT Libraries is delighted to have eight campus and community groups sponsoring tables at the event. Each group is dedicated to improving the representation of a particular community, such as Deaf and hard-of-hearing women, women photographers, women in medicine and chiropractic, military women and veterans, women authors, and individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+.
People of all gender identities and expressions are welcome to participate. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting services have been requested. Computers will be limited, so participants are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet if they have one. We encourage you to RSVP on the event page. Join RIT Libraries to change the narrative and increase recognition of women’s invaluable contributions to the world.