Challenging the Massive Gender Imbalance on Wikipedia: Volunteers Write Women Back into HistoryBreaking News
tags: Wikipedia, public history, womens history
Costa Rica's first female anthropologist, a 19th-century Dutch prophetess, and a Turkish migrant worker who set herself on fire in a Hamburg marketplace are just some examples of the over 1,500 women Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight has helped place back into the annals of history.
From Nevada City, California, Stephenson-Goodknight spends hours every day creating Wikipedia articles about inspiring women from years gone by.
She doesn't get paid for this tiring work. The retired health administrator is driven to do this by a persistent belief.
"If I don't stop and do this now, these women will be lost to all of history," she told Insider.
Stephenson-Goodknight's desire to bring notable women from out of the shadows is what encouraged her to help establish Wikipedia's "Women In Red."
The project, founded in 2015, is dedicated to redressing the content gender gap on Wikipedia by increasing the number of women's biographies on the website.
This is done by turning 'red links,' marking a Wikipedia page that has not yet been created, into blue links that lead to entries documenting notable women's lives from history.
Hundreds of volunteers worldwide have joined this mission, working tirelessly to create and edit articles that tell the stories of forgotten women.
The project's success means that Women In Red has become a major force in addressing the internet's systemic bias.
The project was inspired by the release of an academic paper in October 2014.
The research, led by social scientists from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Yahoo! Labs, found that only 15.5 percent of Wikipedia's biographies were about women or women's issues.
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