Documenting the gender gap in Indian Wikipedia communities: Findings from a qualitative pilot study
Keywords:Wikipedia, gender gap, digital divide, access to knowledge
This article presents a pilot study to address the issue of gender gap in participation on Wikipedia in India. We carried out semi-structured interviews with 16 Wikipedians across various linguistic communities using the snowball sampling technique. The responses corroborated with the existing literature on gender gap in Wikipedia with respect to issues of Internet access, lack of discretionary time, psychological barriers and institutional harassment. The personal narratives also revealed unique problems faced by Indian women which relate to existing socio-cultural norms creating barriers for participation by women. Our findings show that the limits to accessing the Internet and technological devices are experienced by women irrespective of their educational degrees and technical skills, because of the patriarchal mindset that pervades both at home and in the society at large.
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