Ninety percent of all biographies on Wikipedia are about men. This is shown by research by Erasmus University Rotterdam. To bring this into balance, the university and Wikimedia call on the Netherlands to supplement the online encyclopedia with articles about women today, on International Women’s Day. “Ninety percent of the people who write articles on Wikipedia are men. So there may be an agreement in that,” says Lenya Slierendrecht of Erasmus University in the NOS Radio 1 Journaal. According to her, women are also in the minority on the Dutch Wikipedia. Laura Braden, one of the researchers, argues that it is important to do something about this gender gap. “If people don’t have an equal voice, only a few stories are told. Creating and editing Wikipedia pages is a very easy and accessible way to do something about it,” she tells Erasmus Magazine. “We must be aware that there are fewer women on Wikipedia. That awareness is the first step,” adds Slierendrecht.
That is why an edit-a-thon is being organized today, a publishing marathon. Erasmus University students are going to write as many Wikipedia articles about women as possible. “We asked all faculties which women or women-related topics they would still like to see on Wikipedia. So we have a large list of sources that are suitable for writing about,” says Slierendrecht. In addition, Wikipedia itself maintains lists of women who do not yet have a page. There are also many English-language pages about women who do not yet have a Dutch translation. “By translating that, you can have an impact in a relatively easy way,” says Slierendrecht. “For example, there are quite a lot of female philosophers and economists with only an English page. So if I have time next to the organization, I will start translating it.”
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