Get involved in Amnesty’s Feminist Wikipedia Takeover

fem·i·nism (feməˌnizəm/) The belief that women, transgender, and gender non-binary individuals should have the same rights, powers, privileges, and opportunities as men. 

Feminist Wikipedia Takeover: An action marking International Women’s Day 2018 in Canada to promote gender equality in the free, online, open source dictionary Wikipedia by populating it with bias-free profiles on the contributions of women, transgender, and gender non-binary human rights defenders in Canada.

Join the Feminist Wikipedia Takeover! 

One of Amnesty International’s goals is a world where people of every gender identity and expression have the same rights, powers, privileges, and opportunities. In the digital age we’re living in gender inequality manifests itself online, including in the open source encyclopedia Wikipedia. Wikipedia has acknowledged and is working to address gender inequality in its platform:

Gender bias on Wikipedia refers to criticism of the online encyclopedia, and especially its English-language site, that the nature and quantity of its content is biased due to the fact that a dominant majority of volunteer Wikipedia editors are male. It is among the most frequent criticisms of Wikipedia, and part of a more general criticism about systemic bias in Wikipedia. Wikipedia has fewer and less extensive articles about women or topics important to women. The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, agrees with these criticisms and has made an ongoing attempt to increase female editorship of Wikipedia.”

One result of this gender bias on Wikipedia is that the incredible contributions of courageous women, transgender, and gender non-binary individuals who take peaceful action in support of human rights are often invisible on Wikipedia. This invisibility is more profound for women of colour, religious or ethnic minority women, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LBTI) women, women with disabilities, or non-binary individuals who don’t conform to traditional gender norms of male and female. At the time of writing there was not a Wikipedia entry for ‘women human rights defender,’ a term used to describe women who defend human rights, or non-female-identified human rights defenders who peacefully defend gender rights.

Join Amnesty International on International Women’s Day to help make the contributions of women, transgender, and gender non-binary human rights defenders in Canada visible on Wikipedia > register here

This project is open to people of all genders. Women, transgender, and gender non-binary people are especially encouraged to sign up.

By signing up for this project what are you committing to? You’re committing yourself to contributing to a bias-free, objective encyclopedia that equally recognizes the contributions of people of all genders. 

Amnesty International is seeking project participants to:

  • Help identify women human rights defenders in your local community to add to Wikipedia.
  • Write or edit Wikipedia entries.
  • Post entries to Wikipedia.

No one person has to do all of these things. Form a team and divide up tasks, or sign up for the project and we will endeavor to pair you up with other project participants from your local area who want to take part in this project.

Get involved!

  1. Register for the project here >
  2. Open a Wikipedia account – You need to have an account for weeks before you can create a new entry, so go ahead and create an account now (it is quick and easy)! Try editing entries to get more comfortable doing it (i.e.  start by amending punctuation). 
  3. Connect with activists in your community – If there is more than one person in your community interested in participating in this project we will connect you.
  4. Read through our handy guide – Amnesty will provide you with a brief guide to help make it quick and simple to reach out to community partners and develop an inclusive and equitable process to determine how many  and which women human rights defenders in your community to profile. Guidance on informed consent, inclusivity, and accessibility will be provided. 
  5. Learn how to write/edit Wikipedia profiles – Participate in our free webinar on February 22, from 7-9pm EST. The webinar recording will be made available for people not able to join the live training.  In the webinar you’ll learn more about the project, and most importantly, you’ll learn how fun and easy it is to write and edit Wikipedia entries!
  6. Write and edit Wikipedia profiles – Go forth and write and edit (and have fun!).
  7. Connect with offline events – Explore ways to highlight the contributions of the women human rights defenders you are adding to Wikipedia at events in your community celebrating International Women’s Day.
  8. Safeguard freedom of expression – Everyone should be able to freely engage in the digital sphere without fear of online abuse, or fear that their Wikipedia entry removed or edited to introduce bias. Keep an eye on the Wikipedia entries you contribute to. Guidance will be provided on how to handle bias and removed posts.  

The invisibility of the contributions of women, transgender, and gender non-binary human rights defenders in the digital sphere is part of a broader pattern of online exclusion, harrassment, and violence. Learn more about Amnesty’s work to tackle online gender-based violence.