The gender gap in the Spanish Wikipedia: Listening to the voices of women editors

Abstract

Wikipedia is one of the most widely used information sources in the world. Although one of the guiding pillars of this digital platform is ensuring access to the diversity of human knowledge from a neutral point of view, there is a clear and persistent gender bias in terms of content about or written by women. Through semi-structured interviews with current and former women editors, our research offers a closer look at the different factors that influence editing practices on the Spanish Wikipedia: the educational and social contexts that prompt women to start or stop editing; their perceptions of the treatment of gender equality in the encyclopedia; and their feelings about taking part in the creation of content in an environment where they find themselves in a minority. Self-organized events known as edit-a-thons (in Spanish, Wikiquedadas), where women meet to discuss and share editing practices, have emerged as self-inclusion strategies to enable more women to enter, remain, and be recognized in this male-dominated editing environment. Smaller Wikipe- dia communities are also perceived as more inclusive environments. Lack of digital competences or difficulty using the platform do not appear to be aspects that negatively influence the participation of women in the editing process, though time spent on unpaid care work does seem to be a critical factor.

Publication
Profesional de la Información, 30(5), e300516

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Citation

Ferran-Ferrer, N., Castellanos, P., Minguillón, J., & Meneses, J. (2021). The gender gap in the Spanish Wikipedia: Listening to the voices of women editors. Profesional de la Información, 30(5), e300516. https://doi.org/10.3145/epi.2021.sep.16
Julio Meneses
Julio Meneses
Professor agregat

Professor de metodologia de la investigació, director de Learning Analytics de l’eLearn Center i investigador de l’Internet Interdisciplinary Institute de la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

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