By Markson Oviedo-Lagos
Mr Olusola Olaniyan, President, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation, said that the Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria, African Women in the Media (AWIM) and Wikimedia had trained Nigerian women on how to contribute to Wikipedia.
Olaniyan said that the training, “The WikiGap Challenge”, was an attempt to create more Wikipedia contents for Nigerian women.
He said that as a major concern on the spread of COVID19 in Nigeria, the training was hosted online for the introduction of Wikipedia to Nigerians who are interested in contributing to Wikipedia.
“The Challenge takes place from April 28 to May 13, 2020” he said.
Olaniyan said that “Wikipedia is the world’s largest online encyclopedia with over 5billion views per month.
“It is written in over 300 languages. It is unfortunate to know that we have less than 1300 Nigerian women covered on the page, hence there is a need for this initiative.”
Olaniyan said that Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation was an affiliate of Wikimedia Foundation, the owner of Wikipedia.
He said that the context was a Nigerian public writing competition to create and improve articles that will strengthen Wikipedia coverage of Nigerian women.
“The winners will receive great prizes. The Challenge is organised as part of the global WikiGap campaign by Wikimedia Nigeria in collaboration with African Women in the Media ( AWIM) and the Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria.
“It is a build-up to the WikiGap event held in Lagos and Abuja to celebrate International Women’s Day which produced 17 Wikipedia biographies on Nigerian women.
“Due to the prevailing global pandemic and lockdown in Nigeria, we, therefore hosted a three hour online training via Webinar on Wikipedia for interested Nigerians to be followed by a two-week online contest,” he said.
He said that the online training via Webinar took place on April 27 and April 28 between 12:00 to 01:30p.m and the writing challenge would run from 00:01 on April 29 until May 31.
Olaniyan said that the contest was simple in structure, based on a Keep lt Simple and Short (KISS) point system.
He said that participants would get points while improving articles, with the goal for each participant to gain as many points as possible.
He said that everyone could help in any language to collaborate on writing articles related to Nigerian women and any Wikipedian with a named account (on any wiki, including the incubator) can participate.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that Fanny Nylander, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden to Nigeria, had also partnered Wikimedia Nigeria foundation to empower 30 women in Lagos in March.
Nylander said that Wikipedia was the world’s largest online and user-generated encyclopedia which content influences and shaped how we see the world.
“But there’s a problem. Like the rest of the world, Wikipedia is far from gender equality.
“There are still four times more articles about men than there are about women, and nine out of 10 articles are written by men, ’’ She said.
The ambassador said that the imbalances reflects our society, where women are often overlooked when it comes to rights, resources, representation and when it comes to their role in history.
She said that global WikiGap initiative was launched by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Wikimedia in March 2018