Jordanian women partake in WikiGap initiative for gender-equal internet

(Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — More than 100 Jordanian women signed up to participate in a Wikipedia edit-a-thon that aims to increase women's online presence and participation in editing woman-centered articles on the user-generated encyclopedia, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.اضافة اعلان

The WikiGap initiative, started by Sweden five years ago, brings together a group of volunteers to write articles on Wikipedia that specifically highlight prominent and influential women as the world celebrates Women's History Month this March.

"Equal opportunity has not been achieved yet, especially not on the Internet," said Sweden's Ambassador to Jordan Alexandra Rydmark on Sunday.

"Throughout history, there has not been any written record about women who have made great contributions to the world, and I am very proud that we are now taking concrete actions to change that," she added.

Mary Kawar, former minister and participant in the initiative, called for furthering gender equality efforts to enable women to have the same opportunities and resources as their male counterparts.

Canadian Ambassador Donica Pottie said that the WikiGap has, so far, resulted in the editing of more than 50,000 articles, which scored more than 100 million views, making women's achievements more visible on the Internet.

"We hope that this (initiative) inspires more young women to pursue their dreams by making women's achievements more visible online," she said, adding that Canada is proud to partner with Sweden, the United Nations Women and Jordanian organizations for this important initiative.

"The gender gap in the digital space is very wide," said Aisha Mukhtar, the United Nations Women Deputy Representative.

"By strengthening women's representation via the Internet, WikiGap ensures that women's voices and their history are documented and celebrated," Mukhtar said, adding “as women's contributions are being highlighted on Wikipedia, we are now one step closer to creating a gender-equal internet.”

Partners involved in the initiative are the embassies of Sweden and Canada, UN Women in Jordan, HeForShe Arabia movement, Wikipedia of the Arab Mashreq, Jordan Open Source Association, Khawarizmi Technical College, and the American Center of Research.

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