National

Writers add entries about women to narrow the 'WikiGap' at Tokyo Swedish Embassy event

Kyodo

The Swedish Embassy in Japan hosted an event Sunday to increase the number of articles on women in the online collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia, with the aim of narrowing the gender gap on the internet.

According to the embassy, only 17 percent of the individuals given Wikipedia entries were women across all its sites in some 300 languages. The ratio was 22 percent for the Japanese version.

Many women who merit entries for achievements in their fields are not featured, the embassy said, noting that 90 percent of the content is created by men.

The event, called WikiGap, was organized under the gender equality policy advocated by the Swedish government, with similar events held in around 60 countries.

“Becoming aware of the gender gap in information on Wikipedia, which is influential in the present-day digital society, will remind us of the gender gap around ourselves,” an embassy official said.

During the event at the embassy in Tokyo, about 40 people wrote new entries for Japanese female writers and athletes based on reference materials. They also translated English articles about foreign women into Japanese.

An experienced writer of Wikipedia entries joined the event to teach the participants how to write them.

Rina Yomota, a 31-year-old editor of an agricultural information website, created an article about Eri Otsu, a farmer in Kumamoto Prefecture who won an award from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in 2017.

“It gave me an opportunity to think about what we can do about the issue of gender,” Yomota said.

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