Amnesty's 'edit-a-thon' to profile women activists on Wikipedia

Amnesty's 'edit-a-thon' to profile women activists on Wikipedia

A training session we he held earlier in Amnesty International India's Bengaluru office. (Image courtesy:

Do you know who Tongam Rina, Jagmati Sangwan and Manjula Pradeep are? Wait, don’t look for them on Wikipedia as yet, but they are going to get pages there. Tongam, Jagmati and Manjula are human rights defenders working in diverse fields in India. 

Amnesty International India, in collaboration with Wikimedia and Centre for Internet and Society, is organising an 'edit-a-thon' to feed into the biggest online encyclopedia with information about women human rights defenders like those mentioned above.

'Brave:Edit' is being held on Saturday and Sunday at Amnesty India headquarters in Bengaluru’s Indiranagar. 

The event aims to give an online identity to India's women human rights champions on Wikipedia. 

Amnesty International India claims that hundreds of volunteers from 20 countries will upload the biographies of hitherto underrepresented human rights defenders in two days.

According to Amnesty, there is a massive gender gap in the information available on Wikipedia, which has become the primary source of knowledge in the internet era. 

“There are more than five-and-a-half-million entries in the English language version of Wikipedia alone, on the most disparate subjects,” says Guadalupe Marengo, Head of Amnesty International's Global Human Rights Defenders Programme.

“However, less than 20% of biographies are dedicated to women, with few devoted to the important work of human rights defenders, and even fewer to women human rights defenders,” adds Gaudlupe Marengo.

Asmita Basu, programme director of Amnesty India, points out that the women human rights defenders challenge power and harmful social norms despite the difficulties they face every day in the society. 

“The work of women human rights defenders is underrepresented and insufficiently recognised by mainstream society, policymakers and media,” said Asmita Basu.  
“Very little public information is available about the incredible work they do, and what exists is usually limited to specialised platforms,” she added.