1000 Women in Religion
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The 1000 Women in Religion Project is a timely endeavor that seeks to add over 1,000 names and contributions of religious, spiritual and wisdom women to Wikipedia, the largest encyclopedia in the world. The contributions of women in all fields of work, scholarship and life, including religion and spirituality, have gone universally under-recognized, across time and in our present-day context. Furthermore, this under-recognition, which is a form of gender bias, is reflected and reproduced in our commonly used sources of knowledge – in our history books, in our news media, even in our sacred texts. In this present day and age, when these sources of knowledge are available with a simple click on our mobile devices, we are formed by these gender biases in knowledge production, 24-7. Elizabeth Ursic, co-chair of the Women’s Caucus of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature states that “the more we can document and highlight the contributions of women leaders in their religious and spiritual traditions, the more we can change the perception that women have not been leaders”. The Women’s Caucus is supported in this effort to raise up notable women by the American Theological Library Association and the Women’s Task Force of the Parliament of World Religions.
A great example of a source of knowledge with world-wide reach that illustrates this inherent, structural, gender bias, is Wikipedia, the world’s largest online encyclopedia. In November 2014 only about 15% of the biographies in English Wikipedia were about women.
The Wikipedia project “Women in Red”, started in 2014, seeks to increase the representation of women on the Wikipedia platform. As of February 2018, 17.49% of biographies were about women (Wikipedia: WikiProject Women in Red). However, this is not Wikipedia’s only systemic problem. Only 9% of its editors are women (Wikipedia, Gender Bias on Wikipedia). The “1000 Women in Religion Project”, seeks to address both systemic issues by increasing the number of contributions about religious, spiritual and wisdom women on Wikipedia as well as the number of women editors.
Colleen Hartung, co-chair of the “1000 Women in Religion Project”, encourages participation in this project by noting that it is “the type of practical, hands on effort that is needed to reform and transform the sources of knowledge the recreate gender bias and inequality in our religious, spiritual and wisdom traditions and thus in daily lives.”
How you can participate?
- Become an editor
- Request an introductory packet
- Choose a woman to write about from our 1000 Women in Religion Project List (see the link below).
- Visit our Wikipedia Meetup page and sign up with our project
- Let us know you are working on a woman from our list – firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Suggest a woman (historical and contemporary) for our 1000 Women in Religion list
- We are looking for women who are (1) notable as founders, practitioners, teachers, resistors and researchers of the world’s religious and wisdom traditions and (2) do not already have a biographical entry on Wikipedia.
- Please send your suggestions to email@example.com . Include identifying information about the woman you are suggesting, reliable sources and a paragraph about why this woman is notable to help expedite our writing process.”
- Join our monthly Zoom meetings
- Get hands on help with editing
- Join one of the subcommittees that supports this project
- Attend or organize a 1000 Women in Religion Wikipedia Edit-a-thon.
- Upcoming edit-a-thons
- June 12, 2019 at the American Theological Library Association Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia
- November 22, 2019 at the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA
- Contact us for help organizing an edit-a-thon in your area
- Upcoming edit-a-thons
- The “1000 Women in Religion Project” welcomes the support of other interested organizations. Our highest need is individuals and groups of people willing to become wiki-editors who work to create and submit biographies of women onto the Wikipedia platform.
Interested in supporting these efforts at the individual or organizational level? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and to join our efforts!
- "The Mother with Faith: Dr. Anny May Say Pa" by May May Latt
- "Bertha Mae Lillenas: Eclipsed by the Shadow of Her Husband" by Melissa Ortiz Berry
- "New Orleans' Jewish Legacies: Ida Weis Friend (1868-1963)" by Rosalind Hinton, PhD.
- "Mae Eleanor Frey: Early 20th Century Pentecostal Matriarch" by Debbie Fulthorp, DMin.
Getting to the list of 1000 Women in Religion:
The 1000 Women in Religion Project Committee Trainings:
- 1000 Women in Religion Wikipedia Presentation
- Creating a Wikipedia Account
- Using Wikipedia's "Article Wizard"
Helpful information on the Wikipedia platform:
- Wikipedia: Meetup/1000 Women in Religion
- Wikipedia's Women in Red Initiative, Women in Religion Redlist
- Automated Wikidata-generated list
- Helpful videos about connecting to Wikipedia and the process of editing from The Wikipedia Art + Feminism Meet Up, video.
Learn more about the Women's Caucus at:
- On Our Website at Women's Caucus in the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature
- On Facebook @WomensCaucusAARSBL
- If you’d like to be on the email list, please click this link.