How Theological Librarians Can Help Change the World Addressing Knowledge and Gender Gaps in the World’s Largest Encyclopedia

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Kerrie Burn


The 1000 Women in Religion Project is working towards adding 1,000 biographies about women to Wikipedia, where only 18% of entries are about women. Knowledge and gender gaps on Wikipedia are well documented and exist despite the platform’s idealistic early goal of providing “free access to the sum of all human knowledge.” This paper details the Australian Women in Religion Project, a collaborative initiative under the auspices of the University of Divinity. The experience of the Australian project can be used as a model for similar projects in other parts of the world. Understanding Wikipedia’s policies around notability, reliability, secondary sources, and conflict of interest is important. There are many benefits to participating in Wikipedia projects like this and theological librarians are well placed to contribute. This is a practical way to highlight noteworthy women in religion while addressing issues of systemic knowledge and gender bias on platforms like Wikipedia.

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