Consulate General of Sweden, Mumbai and WeSchool take action to make the internet more gender-equal


Mumbai: The Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai and S.P. Mandali’s Prin. L.N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool) cooperated with Wikimedia to highlight women profiles, experts and role models from India on 20 March 2019. As part of the activity, WeSchool students came together in a Wikipedia edit-a-thon. The one-day workshop encouraged students to contribute to Wikipedia pages with information about women leaders, opinion makers and role models, to resonate with Sweden’s strong thrust on gender equality. As a result of this initiative, 35 students worked in groups to add 102 edits, elaborating articles about Indian women on Wikipedia in a span of three hours. With this workshop, we have taken a step towards increasing the number of women represented on Wikipedia and the internet, making it more gender-equal.

Wikipedia is the world’s largest online and user-generated encyclopedia. However, the Wikimedia Foundation conducted its first semi-annual Wikipedia survey in April 2011 , suggesting that 9% of Wikipedia editors were women. The figures may vary regionally, but the picture is the same across the world: the information about women is less extensive than that about men.

Elaborating further on the initiative, Mrs. Ulrika Sundberg, Consul General of Sweden said, “Sweden is the first country in the world with a feminist foreign policy based on the ambition to strengthen women’s rights, representation and resources. The #WikiGap initiative is part of this policy that gives us an opportunity to recognize the achievements of women in politics, business, science, education, civil society, community service, journalism and other sectors who have made immense contribution to their chosen field. However, we do not see them adequately represented on Wikipedia. The Consulate General of Sweden, Mumbai is proud to be hosting WikiGap 2019 with the Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research. This is the second session of the WikiGap event that the Consulate General of Sweden, Mumbai is hosting this month to close the gender gap on Wikipedia and the internet.”

Speaking about the event, Prof. Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool said, “I must congratulate the Consulate General of Sweden, Mumbai for taking steps in increasing the contribution by women and for women related topics on Wikipedia and the internet. The online platforms are becoming increasingly popular and equally resourceful in terms of knowledge. The representation of women in the digital world must inspire other women in showcasing their talent in their areas of interest. From a B-School perspective, gender equality is important in the management education sector as much as in the other sectors of business and government offices. An initiative of this nature across campuses can have a phenomenal impact in empowering women to take the lead online.”

This event is a part of the global #WikiGap campaign, originally launched by Wikimedia Sweden and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. So far, over 60 countries have taken part in #WikiGap. More than 1,800 participants have added or updated more than 13,000 Wikipedia articles on prominent women in more than 30 different languages.