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Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean in Wikipedia

18 February 2020|Briefing note

On 27th January 2020, the Hernán Santa Cruz (HSC) Library and the Division of Gender Affairs at ECLAC in collaboration with Wikimedia Chile, celebrated the successful hosting of another editathon. This time, the event sat within the framework of a side event of the fourteenth Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Santiago, Chile from 27th to 31st January 2020.

The autonomy of women in changing economic scenarios was the central theme of the Conference and the editathon aimed to make discoverable the history, themes and outcomes of Regional Conferences on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean. The resulting wikipedia article contains the consensuses adopted during past regional conferences that make up the Regional Gender Agenda.

Seven women, who have been an active part of Regional Conferences in the past and who are dedicated to issues related to the situation of women, girls and gender equity in different countries of Latin America, were trained by Wikimedia Chile to bring their experiences on regional gender issues to the contemporary platform that is Wikipedia. The group comprised women of different nationalities from the public sector, academia, former ministers and international experts.

“Just as the Montevideo Strategy states that there can be no cultural change without access to information, the editathon ensures that crucial information on women, for women and by women in Latin America and the Caribbean is now available through the world’s 2nd most visited website,” summarized Wouter Schallier, Chief of the ECLAC Library.

The side event not only facilitated access to information on regional gender agreements and highlighted Agenda 2030, but also contributed towards reducing the gender gap on Wikipedia by increasing the representation of female editors on the platform. Moreover, only 33% of articles on Wikipedia are in Spanish, therefore the dual benefit of creating content on women and making it more visible and easily accessible in one of the languages of the region on the largest and most popular general reference work on the World Wide Web was an additional bonus.

ODS 5 asks the question; how can we help achieve gender equality and empower women and girls? In response, gender experts converged on the HSC Library to produce a Wikipedia article on the main intergovernmental forum on women's rights and gender equality in the region. Mario Castillo, Officer-in-Charge of the ECLAC Division for Gender Affairs, noted that the female editors who gathered for the event represent the kickoff of a new collaborative process of information diffusion on the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean. Moreover, it is a great opportunity to have written testimonials, from those who have participated in this important forum and who have contributed to the Regional Gender Agenda, available for everyone.

The resulting article aims to close the information gap about the Regional Gender Agenda, as well as disseminate information on the Conferences that have marked Latin America and the Caribbean’s history of gender equality discourse.