Metro/General NewsTechnology

Swedish Embassy, 2 firms begin competition to strengthen Nigerian women coverage

The Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria and two international organisations, on Wednesday began a two-week online writing competition to create and improve articles that would strengthen coverage of Nigerian women.

Mr Olusola Olaniyan, President, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation, who made this known to newsmen in Lagos, said that the competition would end on May 13.

He said that the competition, jointly organised by African Women in the Media (AWIM) and Wikimedia is tagged: “The WikiGap Challenge”.

Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation is an affiliate of Wikimedia Foundation, the owner of Wikipedia.

According to him, it is meant to create more Wikipedia contents for Nigerian women.

He said that as part of their major concern on the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the organisers were hosting the online training for the introduction of Wikipedia to interested Nigerians willing to contribute to Wikipedia.

Olaniyan said: “Wikipedia is the world’s largest online encyclopedia with over five billion viewers per month. It is written in over 300 languages.

“It is unfortunate to know that we have less than 1,300 Nigerian women covered on the page, hence, there is a need for this initiative.

“The winners will receive great prizes. The Challenge is organised as part of the global WikiGap campaign by Wikimedia Nigeria in collaboration with African Women in the Media (AWIM) and the Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria.

“It is a build-up to the WikiGap event held in Lagos and Abuja in celebration of the International Women’s Day, which produced 17 Wikipaedia biographies on Nigerian women.

“Due to the prevailing global pandemic and lockdown in Nigeria, we, therefore hosted a three-hour online training via Webinar on Wikipedia for interested Nigerians to be followed by a two-week online contest.

“At the end of the competition, the winners will receive great prizes.”

Olaniyan said that the contest was simple in structure, based on a “Keep lt Simple and Short (KISS)” point system.

He said that participants would get points, while improving articles, with the goal for each participant to gain as many points as possible.

“Everybody can help in any language to collaborate on writing articles related to Nigerian women.

“Any Wikipedian with a named account (on any wiki, including the incubator) can participate. To participate you just need to sign up on the Participants section,” Wikimedia President, said.

Fanny Nylander, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden to Nigeria, had also partnered Wikimedia Nigeria foundation to empower 30 women in Lagos in March.

Nylander said that Wikipedia was the world’s largest online and user-generated encyclopedia which content influences and shaped how we see the world.

“But there’s a problem. Like the rest of the world, Wikipedia is far from gender equality.

“There are still four times more articles about men than there are about women, and nine out of 10 articles are written by men.

“The imbalances reflects our society, where women are often overlooked when it comes to rights, resources, representation and when it comes to their role in history,’’ she said.

The ambassador said that global WikiGap initiative was launched by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Wikimedia in March 2018.

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