100 million page views of articles on women through the MFA’s WikiGap initiative
On Thursday 15 August, some 80 volunteers from more than 30 countries are invited to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to celebrate the impact made by the MFA’s and Wikimedia Sweden’s international initiative, WikiGap. The initiative has gained a foothold in more than 60 countries and has so far resulted in 32 000 new or edited articles about women on Wikipedia. These articles have now been viewed more than 100 million times.
Wikipedia is the world’s largest online and user-generated encyclopaedia. Its content influences and colours users’ knowledge of the world. But there is great imbalance on the website. Ninety per cent of the content is created by men, and there are four times more articles about men than there are about women. The idea behind WikiGap is simple: together, Sweden’s embassies and Wikimedia bring together people in more than 60 countries to edit and write new articles about eminent women who deserve attention.
“Making eminent women and their achievements more visible on the world’s largest digital encyclopaedia is a concrete result of part of our feminist foreign policy. More than 100 million page views of 32 000 new or updated articles is a clear sign of the impact of WikiGap. I hope that they can inspire many people around the world and give people more women role models,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström.
The volunteers invited to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs have all been involved in organising WikiGap in collaboration with Swedish embassies in countries all around the world. They are in Stockholm for Wikimedia’s global conference, Wikimania, where State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Annika Söder will also be giving a speech on Friday 16 August. The theme of the conference is the 2030 Agenda.
Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is based on the ambition to strengthen women’s and girls’ rights, representation and resources. The WikiGap initiative is part of this policy and aims to improve the representation of women on Wikipedia through the organising of edit-a-thons. The articles are not written or edited by the missions abroad or the Ministry, but by those taking part in the edit-a-thons.
WikiGap in figures
Since its launch on 8 March 2018, WikiGap has:
- Been held in 61 countries
- Had more than 2 500 participants
- Resulted in 32 000 new or edited articles about women in over 30 languages
- these articles have had more than 100 million page views on Wikipedia