Mapping the gender gap: Testimonies from the Indian Wikimedia community
According to the 2012 WMF survey, only 3% of Wikipedia editors from India were women . However, as a Cisco forecast in 2017 suggested, internet penetration in India is projected to increase sharply by 2021, from 28% to 59% of the population; which means that more women are likely to access to the internet and subsequently to Wikipedia . In this context, it is even more important to understand the motives for Indian women to contribute to Wikipedia, the barriers faced by them and the consequences thereof.
This talk intends to present a preliminary ethnographic study addressing the issue of gender gap, featuring narratives of Wikipedians from India (with focus on women contributors). The aim of this study is to trace their motivations for contributing to Wikipedia, barriers to their participation and measures taken (and suggested) for bridging the gender gap. Our academic work is intended as a pilot study on gender mapping in the Indian context, we employed qualitative methods for data collection and used a semi-structured questionnaire for the interviews. Respondents were chosen from various academic backgrounds and age groups, different regions of India, contributing to different language versions, active Wikipedians as well as ones who have stopped contributing. At this stage, we have carried out seventeen interviews to make sense of the motivations to contribute, as well as to understand their perceptions of gender bias on Indian Wikipedia space. Our findings relate strongly to the issues that emerged from the 2017 gender mapping study on Wikimedia  and also point out unique Indian problems which create barriers for women’s participation, and what is being done (and can be done) to bridge these gaps.
This session will address the conference theme — Wikimedia, Free Knowledge and the Sustainable Development Goals — in the following manner:
This session is related to two of the SDGs : Gender Equality and Reduced Inequalities. This session deals with the participation of Indian women in Wikimedia and therefore addresses the issue of inequality and gender.
At the end of the session, the following will have been achieved:
This poster intends to describe the barriers faced by women Wikimedians and their motivations to contribute despite these barriers. It also summarizes the next steps needed to encourage and sustain women Wikimedians in India. We hope that the participants will gather a better understanding about the global south situation in the context of gender and participation from this talk.
- Anwesha Chakraborthy PhD, Chalmers Institute of Technology
- Netha Hussain, Wikimedia India
- nethahussain at gmail dot com
- anwesha at chalmers dot se
Each Space at Wikimania 2019 will have specific format requests. The program design prioritises submissions which are future-oriented and directly engage the audience. The format of this submission is a:
- Talk/ Discussion with a short Q&A session at the end
The session will work best with these conditions:
a lecture hall, a projector+screen
30-50 persons. No need to have prior knowledge/skills.
Appropriate for filming and sharing with a free license.
- ↑ https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/27/nine-out-of-ten-wikipedians-continue-to-be-men/
- ↑ https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/internet-users-in-india-to-double-by-2021-says-cisco-4696154/
- ↑ https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Gender_Diversity_Mapping