These Kick-Ass Women Have Just Been (Rightly) Added To Wikipedia In Bid To Balance Site’s Gender Bias

Can you help make the internet less sexist?

These Kick-Ass Women Have Just Been (Rightly) Added To Wikipedia In Bid To Balance Site's Gender Bias

by Tara Lepore |

Ah, Wikipedia - the treasure trove of encyclopaedic knowledge that single-handedly helped you pass your degree - has got even better overnight.

Yesterday, the BBC ran a #100WomenWiki event which encouraged users to add their own Wikipedia articles about inspirational women to get more positive representation of women on the internet.

Before its 12-hour edit-a-thon yesterday, fewer than 17% of articles on Wikipedia were about women. The BBC reached out to people across the globe to change this, and many stepped up to the challenge, including celebrities Meghan Markle and Amal Clooney nominating their suggestions to be added to the site. Thanks to the efforts of contributors across the globe, 400 profiles of women were added or updated in just one day.

Here's a selection of newly-inaugurated Wikipedia women who are totally deserving of their permenant reference page in history:

1. Bahia Shehab, graffiti artist

This award-winning graffiti artist and influential speaker first drew attention for her political art during the Egyptian revolution in 2011. Her work - exploring different Islamic ways to say 'no' in opposition to violence and military rule - drew attention across the globe. Bahia has since done a TED Talk called 'A Thousand Times No' and been covered widely by the media for her campaigning work. She now has a Wikipedia page. Hooray.

2. Laura Coryton, Stop Taxing Periods campaigner

Laura is the feminist face of the #EndTamponTax campaign, which got the government to agree they will abolish VAT on menstruation products before April 2018. Laura launched the change.org petition that received a mighty 320,087 signatures while still at university. She's now started a Period Watch blog with a countdown to the deadline to make sure the government is taking the right steps to #EndTamponTax once and for all. Read about the beginnings of her social justice career here.

3. Heloise Letissier aka Christine and the Queens, singer

heloise-letissier

French chanteuse Heloise Letissier, also known as Christine and the Queens, was the big name of alternative pop this year with debut album Chaleur Humaine reaching no.2 in the UK Albums Chart. She was one of the BBC's 100 Women this year, a list of 'defiant' women that inspired this Wikipedia project. Despite winning numerous awards for her music, she has finally 100% made it, as proven by the fact that someone was so kind as to dedicate a tiny slice of Wikpedia to her. Her new page is here.

4. Ieshia Evans, Black Lives Matter protester

Ieshia Evans is the women from that iconic photograph from a Black Lives Matter protest in July that made allllll the front pages in 2016. Her recently added Wikipedia page compares the above photo to the now-legendary Tank Man image from the Tienanmen Square student protests in 1989. First, Wikipedia page; next, history textbooks.

5. Judi Aubel, founder of The Grandmother Project

Judi Aubel is a seriously-cool woman who campaigns for social change through focusing on the special role that grandmothers play in less-developed countries. The Grandmother Project recognises that elders in non-Western societies are respected highly by younger generations, and works with these matriarchal figures to inspire social change in communities. It's a seriously cool idea. Read about the woman behind it on her Wiki page.

The #100WomenWiki project is all part of the BBC’s 100 Women season, a list recognising notable influential women across the world.

The project also highlighted that fewer than 16% of Wikipedia’s contributors are women, which is, according to study ‘Where are the Women in Wikipedia?’, because: 'Women feel less confident in their expertise; experience more discomfort with editing others’ work, and receive more negative responses to critical feedback compared to men'.

In order for more women to be added to Wikipedia, the site needs more female editors, according to Wikpedia founder Jimmy Wales who has called for a more inclusive and diverse community of editors on the site.

Feel like doing your bit to help make the internet a tiny bit less sexist today? Of course you do. Follow this link to create your own account and give inspirational women their rightful place in history, one URL at a time.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

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Follow Tara on Twitter @taralepore

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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