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Submissions/The role of Women in the Wikipedia community. A case study from Spanish Wikipedia.

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010

This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission

The role of Women in the Wikipedia community. A case study from Spanish Wikipedia.

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission

Ivana Lysholm, Valeria Mina

E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)

Isha and Marinna

Country of origin

Argentina and Uruguay

Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

Not specified

Personal homepage or blog

Not specified

Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

In this presentation we intend to analyze the role and impact that women play in the Wikimedia projects and particularly at the one we come from, Wikipedia en español. For this, we will work with a series of quantitative data, such as statistical analysis of the number of women over the total of users that are identified by gender, as well as the total number of women administrators ("bibliotecarias") in relation with their male counterparts, searching for interesting conclusions that could be extracted from the aforementioned comparisons. Additionally, we plan to work with some case studies, in a qualitative sense, about women that act as community leaders in the Spanish-language Wikipedia, as well as the process by which the community effectively gave them that leading role. Even if the relation between active women and men contributors is a priori highly unbalanced, there is one remarkable particularity: there is not one, but a numerous group of women among the most-active users and administrators, which we call "bibliotecarios" (librarians). Many of them have taken, de facto, the role of natural mediators when hard disputes arise in the community. What is then the relation, if there is one, between femininity and the roles that these editors play? To answer this question we intend to discover (a) what kind of treatment women receive, as well as (b) what is the "differential fact" in their contribution that makes them distinctive from the overwhelmingly male majority of Spanish Wikipedia editors.

As women that we are, we are worried about the impact that the shortage of our gender in the creation of educational content, that is what Wikipedia is all about in the end. And we are especially worried since, at least in our Latin American societies, women have always played a leading role in the teaching and educational arena. That is why we propose to inquire on the causes of the sexual disparity among Internet users, which is both one of access (the so-called "sex digital divide", related with the position of women in the labour market and cultural conditions, among other reasons) as well as one of usage ("second sex digital divide", having to do with the preferences and competence of women as Internet users). Given that the second divide is smaller in social networks and similar Internet sites and services, why are women so under-represented in the Wikimedia projects? Where is actually the "problem", assuming we have one? Do most of women ever get to click the "Edit" button? Or do they indeed do, but stop attempting to contribute after being forced out by community dynamics? In any case, why does this happen? Can Wikipedia and its sister projects attract a bigger number of women editors? How? We will examine some possible strategies to achieve this, assuming that tackling the sex divide is a goal for both the Wikimedia Foundation and the projects' communities.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)

People and Community

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  1. --Victoria 16:47, 19 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Frank Schulenburg 23:11, 19 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  3. --Ravidreams 18:51, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  4. --El Ágora 21:28, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  5. --B1mbo 22:22, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  6. MADe 22:25, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Psychology 00:01, 21 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  8. --Gomà 11:20, 25 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  9. --Elya 19:13, 27 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  10. --Friedel Völker 15:33, 28 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Kocio 11:46, 2 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  12. GlimmerPhoenix 18:40, 10 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  13. --MotherForker 19:56, 10 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Amir E. Aharoni 06:37, 22 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Natbrown 13:22, 29 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Zack 03:21, 2 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]