A Brief Roundup of Women Content in Telugu Wikis

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The gender research reveals that the women-centric content across several Wiki projects is just below 20%. The women contributors and projects are also very few. However, the stats, parallelly show a rise over the years. The ongoing Wiki projects on women, by women and for women have a major contribution to this rise. The latest global drives organised on Meta platforms like “Wiki Loves Women”, (WLF)“, “Feminism and Folklore“, and “Celebrate Women” are worth citing in this context. These women-centric projects have been driving all the communities to implement them along similar lines in the context of their respective geographical and language parameters. eg.‘Wiki Loves Women” projects – Women Occupation Drive 2018, Women in Sport -2019, 4 continuous editions of ‘Tell Us About Her’ on Wikipedia and related platforms between the years 2020 and 2023 in March month, and the #SheSaid in October to December on Wikiquote.

The Telugu language community’s first-time participation in the 2023 edition of #SheSaid on the Wikiquote platform (the Telugu edition is- “Wikivyakhya: Ame Cheppindi” (వికీవ్యాఖ్య:ఆమె చెప్పింది) – resulted in the addition of 166 pages of popular women pages with quotations, which has placed the community in the middle of all other participating groups. The women content on Telugu Wikiquote, which was just 4% in December 2022, shot up to 35% by Feb 2024. Similarly, many articles are getting added to Telugu Wikipedia under the project – “Feminism and Folklore (స్త్రీవాదము – జానపదము)”, resulting in the rise of the women content from 29 (December 2023) to 35% by Feb 2024 (Humaniki). 

These inequities and imbalances, such as the “reduced participation of women and the lack of women’s content in the body of knowledge, undermine the Wiki’s principle of all human knowledge; to share all the human knowledge in the universe freely to all human beings”, and the concept of neutrality.” (Tewiki Mahilavaranam). So, the earlier projects launched by the Telugu community, on the eve of International Women’s Day in March months, mainly increased women-related content and contributors. In the years 2014, 2015, and 2016 there was an addition of 22.6% of biographies to Telugu Wikipedia on Women Scientists and Nobel Prize recipients. 

  • The 100womenwikidays challenge was held in 2017 to add women’s biographies to address the content-wise gender gap in Telugu Wikipedia.
  • A project called “Tewiki Mahilavaranam” was designed in 2018 and as a part of this project workshops were organized based on March 2018 Women’s History Month.
  • Further, seventeen articles on women’s health were added under the project Wiki Women for Women Wellbeing 2018.

The February 2024 stats indicate 22.93% of women content globally, across all Wikimedia projects. The percentage is expected to rise further, if the initiatives continue to increase at regional, national and global levels. So the women-centric orientation needs to be built with a persistent focus on every Tewiki Project to reduce the gender gap, which might take a few years.

(About me: I registered for Wiki in May 2014 and began randomly writing in the middle of 2020. I got introduced to the wider canvas of Wiki at WCI 2023 in Hyderabad, India, in April 2023 and was excited at the women-centric projects running on Wiki).

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