Sofía and Marta have just finished their Computer Architecture exam at the Córdoba School of Informatics. After leaving the classroom, there are hardly any colleagues left inside. Of the 125 students who are enrolled, only 11 are women. A figure that confirms the statistics of the Women’s Institute: the representation of female students in Engineering, Experimental Sciences and Architecture is 30%, while in Computer science the figure falls below 15%, according to figures from the Ministry Equality. Among other factors, Sofia accuses the lack of references: “Today we turn to Wikipedia and those sites [online] in which if there were more women it would help as a benchmark that you can also do that ”.
This lack of role models led two of the professors at the University of Córdoba, Lilia D. Tapia and Isabel López, to import the editas into the Andalusian city. Enthusiastic, they receive the assistants in the old Veterinary Faculty to the twenty assistants with a white t-shirt and W of Wikipedia printed. Edidatonas is a term that combines the words ‘edit’ and marathon ’. And they are days in which biographies are written (edited) in Wikipedia in a single day to fight against the gender gap that exists in the online portal, one of the most visited on the Internet, according to data from Alexa Internet, a company that collects information about web visits. “It could seem that Wikipedia, being a new tool of the 21st century, would not have a gender gap, but it is not so”, explains Patricia Horrillo, journalist, founder of Wikiesfera and creator of the project.
Wikipedia, the most popular online encyclopedia, is managed by a foundation and receives 500 million unique users a day. Everyone can write and edit the 40 million articles, but always under rules. And that’s where the portal gender gap begins. 87% of the people who edit Wikipedia are men and only 13% are women. On the other hand, only 16% of the published biographies are of women. But not only that, but the biographies that are published, on many occasions, have a clear bias: “Very often we find that in the biographies that already exist, the evaluations made of these women are usually due to the affective or family bond. that they have with men, who are the truly important ones in history ”, Horrillo declares.
Patricia Horrillo, founder of Wikiesfera, at the Medialab Prado center, in Madrid. c. m.
Aware of this difference, at the Medialab Prado cultural center they have been giving workshops every Monday for five years to those who want to learn on Wikipedia, and also with a gender perspective. In the meetings, Patricia Horrillo explains the rules for writing on the portal and controls which biographies are edited. The main criteria are based on the path of relevance. Being a tertiary source, Wikipedia draws on other sources to be able to credit the achievements and works of personalities. Therefore, the information must be accredited through other institutional websites, public associations or consolidated media. Normally, they write the biographies in several sessions, but during editing marathons, such as the one in Córdoba, they write a complete one in a single day.
Ana Porras is one of the women who has come to this editatona. While looking for the merits and achievements of photojournalist Raquel Villaécija, she reflects on the reasons that have led her to sign up for this event that is being held in Madrid: “Visiting profiles of women who otherwise would not be on Wikipedia you feel good and also contribute your grain of sand to increase this encyclopedia, which is very useful as a source of collaborative knowledge ”. So since this Saturday, this photojournalist already has her place in the most consulted encyclopedia in the world.