African Women conquer Wikipedia

20.09.2017 - Press release

WikiAfrica and the Goethe-Institut South Africa are encouraging publications on Wikipedia about influential African women. The project has started in the beginning of 2016 and has been implemented in four African countries so far.

There are countless influential women who have shaped Africa’s countries and societies. But few African women enjoy exposure on internationally relevant online databases such as Wikipedia. WikiAfrica and the Goethe-Institut intend on tackling this issue with the Wiki Loves Women project.

More African women to be found on Wikipedia
More African women to be found on Wikipedia© Goethe-Institut South Africa

Gender inequality is ubiquitous around the world, and also in many African countries. Even with advances made in levelling the disparities between women and men in the workplace and in society, systematic preferential treatment of men persists in news and reporting, among other sectors.

There are many women who have had a great influence all over Africa. Countless innovative businesswomen are driving the diverse formal and informal business sectors on the continent forward. However, there are daily problems which make women and girls the most vulnerable members of society. The trials and tribulations of women must be interrogated for commonalities as those of men have been. Few of the common trials and tribulations which women face are documented online, fewer still are documented on internationally relevant online databases such as Wikipedia.

Important African women are not well represented yet, this is about to change
Important African women are not well represented yet, this is about to change© Goethe-Institut South Africa

The Wiki Loves Women project addresses these issues, with a specific focus on bringing the obvious gaps inside Wikipedia - Africa and women- more to the fore; issues concerning the common themes on Wikipedia as well as the authors are of particular importance.

The project has, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut, been active in Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana since the beginning of 2016, encouraging non-profit organisations and civil rights and equality organisations to make existing, well documented and verified information available on Wikipedia. This information focuses on the contribution African women have made to politics, business, science, culture, tradition as well as the socio-cultural status of women in each of the four countries. Additionally, Wiki Loves Women intends to support new and already active Wikipedians (as well as authors who are currently contributing to debates around the above topics) in the four countries.


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