One of the central issues with Wikipedia is that it has a serious gender disparity within the ranks of its editors. Only 1 in 6 Wikipedia editors are women, a problem which the Wikimedia Foundation readily admits to – it has a task force set up to provide resources to prospective female editors – and which can result in serious underrepresentation of important women in history.
Hell yeah: the Young Workers Centre is holding a ‘Herstory Hackathon’ this week, which will teach high school students about the importance of fixing the gender balance in studying history, training young women to create, update and edit Wikipedia articles about important Australian women who are excluded from the popular Internet encyclopaedia.
The large majority of Australian historians are men, so this is also a means to encourage more female students to pursue it as a career.
Students from Northcote High School will be running through the program. Principal Kate Morris said “the Herstory Hackathon is a great opportunity for young women to work collaboratively and creatively whilst building practical skills that will affect change – more achievements of women featured in Wikipedia.”
It’s a worthwhile project – if Wikipedia is going to keep it up as the number one place people go online for information, then it’s important that it maintains balance in its approach. They’re really concerned with issues of balance over at the Wikimedia Foundation – and having massive demographic disparities is one of the primary problems.
The Herstory Hackathon is happening this Thursday, March 10 at Northcote High School, VIC from 12:30pm – 3:30pm.
Image: Getty Images
Source: Young Workers Centre