Ambassador of Sweden: The First WIKI GAP Organized in Khartoum

Marwa Khalid

Khartoum – Wikipedia is the world’s largest online and user-generated encyclopaedia. Knowledge is power, and Wikipedia has the potential to colour our view of the world. But there is great imbalance between men and women on the website, like in society at large. Ninety per cent of those who add content to Wikipedia are men. There are four times more articles about men than women. The figures vary regionally, but no matter how you look at it, the picture is clear: the information about women is less extensive than that about men. Regardless of which language version of Wikipedia you read.  WikiGap is an event during which people around the world gather to add more content to Wikipedia about women figures, experts and role models in various fields.

The Swedish Embassy in Khartoum in partnership with UN Women, Ericsson and Zain organise the first Wikigap Khartoum. It is part of the support to the global campaign 16 Days of Activism. WikiGap will improve Sudanese women’s representation by increasing the number of articles about them on Wikipedia. We met the Ambassador of Sweden in Sudan H.E.Mr. Hans Henric Lundquist to know more about the Wiki Gap event:

Can you tell us more about the event?

the Wiki Gap is an initiative aiming to increase the number of women in Wikipedia, because if you compare the number of articles written about men and women; there are four times more articles about men than women. This initiative is to change this. Sudan is not the first country we start this initiative in, it’s already been started in almost fifty countries all around the world. Women and men are gathered from different parts of society with different back grounds, then they will either write new articles of well-known women or expanding the existing ones, in addition to translating articles that have been written in Arabic. So far, it’s been very successful globally. Until now we’ve had 1600 hundred participants globally and we have added around 4000 articles on women in Wikipedia. In Sudan this collaboration is between Swedish embassy, UN Women, Zain, Ericsson and with Wikimedia.
Wikimedia helped us in the relevant techniques of writing in Wikipedia. The percipients were Around 35 women and a few men, we work with them on writing articles about well- known Sudanese women.
In Wikipedia you can’t write everything, it has to be verified through different sources, so this also something we’ve been working on with Wikimedia to train the participants on how to write on Wikipedia. You need to have an account and to flow the regulation in Wikipedia.

How many articles the participants added In Wikipedia?

Besides adding new articles, the participants tried to expand the existing ones, also they translated some articles from Arabic to English. We are trying to increase the number of Sudanese women in Wikipedia and it will let people worldwide to know more about Sudanese women in Sudan and Africa in general.

How did you choose the participants?

They have different backgrounds; we tried to choose different ages also the participants are not just from Khartoum, other state as well. People were really engaged in writing those articles and we will continue in this in different forms, also the facilities from Wikimedia has been great. We hope that the participants will help others in adding more Sudanese women in Wikipedia because it’s all about working together.

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