In an op-ed published Tuesday in The Telegraph, Mr. Khan called for an “edit-a-thon” to address the gender imbalance on the popular online encyclopedia. He said just 17 percent of Wikipedia biographies are about women.
“That’s why, during this year’s London Tech Week, which starts today, I have set up an ‘Edit-a-thon’ at Bloomberg’s office in the capital to try and help redress the balance,” Mr. Khan wrote.
“Schoolgirls from across the city will be joining forces with Wikipedia’s experts and women in the tech industry to create a surge in new pages about women, and to add more detail to existing ones,” he continued.
One of the problems could be that men comprise 85 percent of all Wikipedia editors. The London mayor posited that there could be fewer female editors because they lack time, confidence and knowledge about the editing process.
“These are all issues we must address if we are to see a shift in the number of pages about fascinating women, past and present, that the site so sorely lacks,” Mr. Khan wrote.
Wikipedia, the fifth most popular website in the world, has already undertaken its own initiative to increase the number of pages about women. Women in Red has resulted in the creation of 17,000 new biographies of women in three years.
Among the women receiving new biographies during the edit-a-thon are Perminder Mann, CEO of Bonnier Publishing UK; Farrah Storr, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine; and the entrepreneur Emem Rita Usanga.
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