Originally posted on the BBC Media Action blog by Sam Waterton, Digital Editor, BBC Media Action, on December 9 2016 - Just 17% of profiles on Wikipedia are women. And even fewer exist in languages other than English. BBC Media Action teams in Nepal, Afghanistan and India joined a global edit-a-thon to help change the record as part of the BBC 100 Women season. Here are a few of the inspiring stories they added.
Lhakpa is a mountain climber who summited Mount Everest seven times, more times than any other woman in the world. Although her Wikipedia page already existed in English, her profile is now available for people to read in Nepalese too. Nisha Rai, who edited the page says, “I noticed that despite Lakpa being on the BBC 100 Women list – there wasn’t anything written on Wikipedia about her in Nepalese. Now I’ve updated her information, she can be an inspiration for women in Nepal [who don’t speak English] too.”
Late Parijat, Jhamak Ghimire and Radha Paudel
What do all of these famous Nepalese writers have in common? They’ve all won Madan Puraskar, Nepal’s most prestigious literary prize. “Although all of the writers already have short profiles on Wikipedia, there wasn’t a place to read about women who had won the prize”, says Bhawana Gurung, who added the page. “I wanted to make it easier for people to find these inspiring women. It felt great – and I’ll be putting even more information on their Wikipedia profiles in the next few days.”
Preethi was captain of the under-19 Tamil Nadu women’s cricket team when a near fatal accident left her paralysed from the neck down. Undeterred by her life-changing injuries, Preethi co-founded Soulfree, a charity aimed championing the rights of people with disabilities. Payal Shah who created the page says, “I chose Preethi because her journey is one of exceptional courage and determination. She’s an inspiration to us all.”
Archana is India’s first BASE jumper and master scuba diver trainer. “Archana is one of those rare Indian women who ventured into extreme sports - where participation of women remains uneven”, said Padmapriya Sastry who added the article. “She is a living example that gender, age and marriage shouldn’t limit women from pursuing their dreams.”
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