Wikipedia launches campaign for female inclusivity across Africa

Wikimedia Foundation’s Chief Communications Officer Anusha Alikhan. [PHOTO COURTESY]

As the world marked Women’s Day on February 8, the Wikimedia Foundation was pushing for coverage of more women on its Wikipedia platform and beyond.

This was after the organization launched a new campaign, ‘Wikipedia Needs More Women’, which invites everyone to improve gender equity.

In a statement by Anusha Alikhan, the Foundation's Chief Communications Officer, women have been left out of historical narratives and traditional sources of knowledge.

"On International Women’s Day, the 'Wikipedia Needs More Women' campaign is a call to action for everyone to help close these knowledge gaps on Wikipedia. There are several ways that people can get involved to change the stats and make a difference, from editing a Wikipedia page to attending an online event," she said.

She says the gender gap is a serious issue across the internet occasioned by knowledge gaps and underrepresentation of women.

"We’re also calling on everyone — journalists, academics, thought leaders, and individuals and organizations across the information landscape — to increase their coverage of women. This will help build out the ecosystem of secondary literature that Wikipedia volunteers rely on to create and improve content about women."

According to the foundation, there was a 26 percent increase in the number of biographies and other content about women from Kenya between 2022 and 2024.

Wikimedia has also feted Librarian Caroline Mwaura and Faith Mwanyolo, both Kenyans, for their efforts in women's inclusivity across the country.

"It is inspiring to see the progress made across the African continent to improve gender equity on Wikipedia and beyond," said Masana Mulaudzi, Senior Manager of Campaign Organizing at the Wikimedia Foundation.

“As one of the world's top resources for information, it's critical for Wikipedia to represent the full, rich diversity of all humanity. When more people from Africa contribute to Wikipedia, we move closer to achieving this vision."

 The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia and other Wikimedia free knowledge projects.