Feature

Making #HerStory Matter: Promoting Gender Equality on Arabic Wikipedia

Making #HerStory Matter: Promoting Gender Equality on Arabic Wikipedia

13920532_1736726203248967_2577116043429050990_o

Wikipedia, the sixth most visited website in the world, is a hub for many hoping to find information about their favourite movie stars, historical locations, sports and more. With more than 40 million articles in 293 languages, it is therefore not surprising that a new campaign was launched to promote greater representation of women on Wikipedia.

#HerStory hopes to tackle the issue of gender equality in all areas of Wikipedia’s operations. Launched by UN Women in Egypt, Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Empower Women, the HeForShe campaign, and UNIT, #HerStory aims to double the number of female editors on Arabic Wikipedia while increasing awareness of women’s contributions online and increasing knowledge about gender concepts.

According to the campaign, there are at least 76,380 articles about men on Arabic Wikipedia and just 13,617 about women. Meanwhile, 85 percent of Wikipedia’s editors are men despite the fact that the website is used by both men and women equally.

It is these statistics and more that have pushed #HerStory to campaign to close the gender knowledge in the online sphere.

In a statement to Egyptian Streets, EmpowerWomen.org’s regional coordinator Emad Karim said that closing this gap is crucial to promoting gender equality in the offline sphere.

“Gender knowledge gaps and biases reinforce harmful stereotypes and practices, misrepresent women and girls, and undervalue their massive contributions locally and globally,” said Mr Karim.

“The marginalization of women and gender related topics is clearly identified on Wikipedia with it’s succinct articles about women and women topics that reflect the current statue of invisibility built for women.”

One way in which #HerStory has attempted to achieve its goals is by holding “editathons” across the world, bringing together men and women to submit entries and update articles on Arabic Wikipedia. Such editathons have taken place at the United Nations headquarters in New York in the presence of Wikimedia Foundation’s Executive Director Katherine Maher, India, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Egypt.

HerStory at the United Nations
HerStory at the United Nations

Mr Karim explains that such events identify steps that need to be taken to resolve gender inequality.

“A better understanding of the way women and girls live their lives, and the daily specific inequalities and injustices that hold them back, enables us and communities to put our heads and hearts together to identify the challenges and take active steps to resolve them and free women from their invisible hand cuffs.”

For those hoping to join #HerStory and its efforts to achieve gender equality, a Facebook group has been set up to coordinate upcoming events. The campaign is looking for both writers and translators to support the cause. Those lucky to be in Cairo in December will also be able to take part in an editathon that will be held on 10 December at Al-Ahram in Downtown Cairo.

Join the Facebook group here.

No Egyptian Soldiers Fighting in Syria: Egypt's Foreign Ministry
Al-Jazeera Documentary on Egyptian Conscripts Reignites Media War with Qatar

Subscribe to our newsletter


Feature

More in Feature

Behind the scenes of the filming

Redefine Ability: An Egyptian Campaign Changing How We View Ability

Mohamed KhairatJanuary 11, 2017
fit

How Has the Floating of the Egyptian Pound Impacted Egypt’s Real Estate Market?

Egyptian StreetsJanuary 4, 2017
direxiona

Direxiona: Egypt’s First Driving Platform for Women

Nouran AllamDecember 27, 2016
mentalhealth

Are Psychiatric Hospitals in Egypt Hurting Mental Health Care?

Mustafa Z MirzaDecember 13, 2016
victimscairocathedral

Remembering the Victims of the Cairo Cathedral Terror Attack

Egyptian StreetsDecember 12, 2016
01ea6fda4ec705de1f0d8307df4aad284af86e9fad1a6e2ae0a0f14630297bf5

Meet the Company Redefining Egypt’s Health Insurance Market

Enas El MasryDecember 4, 2016
ahmed saied

‘We Made Chess Out of Soap’: Exclusive Interview with Released Political Prisoner Ahmed Saied

Aya NaderNovember 23, 2016
Students watch a movie being projected in the playground

The Oromo in Egypt: Why Have 11,000 Ethiopians Fled Their Homeland?

Nada NaderNovember 15, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.