☘☘☘ Letters by Vivek Rai
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WIGI, an Inspire Grantee

Assessing gender gap on Wikipedia

WIGI, The Wikipedia Indicators of Gender Inequality, is a project by Maximilian Klein ( who is a PhD student at University of Minnesota. The project aims at quantifying and presenting the situation of gender gap on Wikipedia by observing the trends of gender in biography articles.

An infographic showing some indicators of gender trends in Wikipedia biography articles, which is much easier to measure and reliable.

Designed by Francis Soong and Max Klein.


The obvious question that arises here is that why should we investigate the trends in the gender of biography articles instead of the trends in editorship, that is, observing the gender of the active editors on the Wikipedia. Although, it is entirely possible that the editor-gender and article-gender may not be related, a prototype research and found preliminary results that analyze the biography gender gap by date of birth, citizenship, and language.

As Max quotes further in his blog post,

Over the last six months along with fellow Wikipedians we prototyped and extended this research into a paper Gender Gap Through Time and Space: A Journey Through Wikipedia Biographies and the ‘WIGI’ Index

This paper though contains preliminary results are very less studied when compared to other trends, offer promising insights on worldwide longitudinal gender inequality trends.

However, these results were discussed only for a single snapshot in time and to extend this research required further time and effort in form of a dedicated team. With the help of a $22,500 funding from Wikipedia Inspire Grant, the project has received a major impetus to implement a data portal that will display the visualizations of the state of gender in biographies by sampling the data on weekly basis and offer insightful statistical analyses.

The ultimate goal being to raise awareness of the gender gap using statistical and quantitative means.

I've been fortunate enough to discover the project during its formulation period and to be a part of it as a developer and research team contributor. The project is open to contribution and available entirely on github.

Updated on August 01, 2015.