Queen’s University held an Art & Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon on Saturday to encourage more women to post on Wikipedia.
Wikipedia is the largest and most popular reference site on the internet, with more than 40 million articles in 250 different languages, but less than 10 per cent of the site’s contributors are women.
Participant Jessie Pollet attended the workshop hoping to learn more about posting on Wikipedia. Pollet aims to post Wikipedia entries on female visual artists who she feels deserve a bigger online presence.
“I’m actually making a new page on Harriet Mary Ford,” she explained. “She’s a Canadian who has nothing on Wikipedia and very little online.”
Like many of the other participants at the event, organized by undergraduate students from the Department of Art History and Art Conservation at Queen’s, Pollet felt that “a lot of women are kind of intimidated about putting themselves out there, because they are afraid of getting harassed or just discriminated against.”
Event organizer Johanna Amos, an art and history professor at Queen’s, is hoping to bring about a change by encouraging more women to post on Wikipedia.
“Wikipedia is something where anyone can edit, so you don’t have to be an expert in any particular field — it relies on all of us to contribute,” Amos says.
Art & Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons have been held around the world over the past five years.
In addition to boosting women’s contributions to Wikipedia, the campaign aims to create a stronger online presence for female artists.