99 articles on Africa’s female activists created and improved during #17AfricanFeminists
Wikipedia is a treasure trove of information. However, for a number of reasons, African subjects are not covered with nearly as much depth, nuance and layers as subjects from the “global north”. This not only perpetuates the “single story of Africa” but also means that people across the continent do not see their historical and contemporary realities accurately reflected. They cannot find information about role models who have or are standing up to the status quo – who are making (or have made) change happen.
Restrictive regimes and governments that conduct repressive censorship and surveillance thrive on a population that does not have access to alternative viewpoints, ideas, or role models. By restricting information they hope to restrict the population’s ability to think for themselves or apply critical thought. These are the reasons why China and Turkey fear global platforms such as Wikipedia. It is also the reason why groundbreaking activists such as Esra’a Al Shafei are invited to be on the Board of Trustees for the Wikimedia Foundation.
To celebrate women who take a stand on the continent, the Wiki Loves Women project added the #17AfricanFeminists fascet to the larger Women in Red World Contest. The Women in Red World Contest took place over November 2017 and focused on creating new biographies of women for every country on the planet.
The #17AfricanFeminists was a subsection of the larger contest at was organised by Wiki Loves Wome’s Anthere and Les sans pagEs’ Natachat. For the #17AfricanFeminist, only biographies of African feminists were considered. Biographies could be created from scratch, translated from another language, or improved from a stub (very short article) or reviewed/copyedited from already existing articles. Lists were researched and proposed from which participants could choose names, but they could also add new people or work on an article about someone not on the list. And then there were prizes …
- $140 ($50, $40, $30, $20) will go to the most articles created related to “women in Feminism, in Africa”
- $60 ($40, $20) will go to the most articles destubbed/improved/reviewed related to “Women in Feminism, in Africa”.
The results were amazing!
- 72 articles were created in English
- 3 articles were improved in English
- 22 articles were translated to French
- 1 article was translated into Vietnamese
- 1 article was translated into Portuguese
That adds up to 99 entries! From these entries, there were 6 winners (4 Anglophone and 2 Francophone Wikipedians who received barnstars as a measure of thanks (one was already a winner of one of WLW’s former contests)! The winners were:
All the entries can be viewed here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject:Wiki_Loves_Women/African_feminists