Wales

BBC 100 Women 2016: The Welsh women the internet forgot

100 Women graphic

Wales boasts record-breaking women who have inspired generations and shaped the face of history.

But less than 17% of biographies on Wikipedia and less than 10% of entries in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography (DWB) are about women.

On Thursday, some of Wales' most influential women will take part in a 12-hour edit-a-thon in a bid to close the gender gap.

Marion Loffler of the DWB said many were "hidden away" in men's entries.

The global edit-a-thon, a joint project between the BBC and Wikipedia, will see people from all over the world creating profiles for their heroines to mark the end of this year's Women 100 campaign.

As it happened:Women take over Wikipedia

While Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world, only about 15% of its editors are women, and less than 17% of biographies are of women, according to the site.

John Lubbock, media spokesman for Wikipedia UK, said the lack of female profiles reflected the division in wider society.

"We rely on society to put reliable facts in, and a lot of those facts dating back about 60 or 70 years ago would have been produced for and about men," he said.

"We look more western, more white, more male: we really want to create a world where these divisions are much less obvious."

Nine Welsh women from business, television, politics and sport will add and create new profiles for the women who have inspired them at an event at BBC Wales' HQ in Llandaff.

Image caption Search Wikipedia and you will not find a profile for Beca Lyne-Pirkis - apart from mentions for baking Bara Brith while on Great British Bake Off

Co-founder of the Hang Fire Smokehouse, Cardiff, Shauna Guinn, will edit the profile of singer Cerys Matthews, while one of the stars of the 2013 Great British Bake Off, Beca Lyne-Pirkis, from Penylan in Cardiff, will edit composer Grace Williams' profile.

'200 women missing'

Assistant editor of the DWB Marion Loffler said the national archive "urgently" needed articles on hundreds of women.

While progress has been made, less than 10% of biographies on the site are about women - at least 200 women are missing.

"Some entries written early on, like that on Betsi Cadwaladr, are very much of their time and urgently need thorough revision," she said.

"Other women, such as the pioneering industrialist and feminist novelist Amy Dillwyn, are not there at all.

"Some, such as the influential cultural patron Lady Augusta Hall (Lady Llanover) are hidden away in their husbands' or fathers' entries," she said.


Five influential Welsh women not on Wikipedia:

Betty Campbell MBE

Image caption Now a great grandmother, Betty Campbell recently spoke out about drug issues in Butetown

Wales' first black head teacher, Mrs Campbell led Mount Stuart Primary in Butetown, Cardiff, for almost 30 years.

The great grandmother was awarded an MBE in 2003 for services to education and community life.

On Thursday, BBC Wales' Felicity Evans will create her profile on Wikipedia.

Tori James

Image copyright Tori James

The first Welsh woman to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, Tori James battled -40C temperatures and crippling illness to make history.

In 2007, the then 25-year-old from Pembrokeshire also became the youngest woman from the UK to reach the 29,030ft (8,850m) Himalayan summit.

Ms James was also a member of the Pink Lady Polecats - the first team of women to complete the Polar challenge, a 360-mile (579km) race to the North Pole.

But when you search for her name in Wikipedia, it asks "did you mean: Toni James?".

Captain Hannah Winterbourne

Cpt Winterbourne, from Cardiff, is the Army's highest ranking transgender officer.

In charge of 100 soldiers, she decided to transition while serving in Afghanistan and started the process in 2013.

To help others like her, Hannah became an ambassador for LGB&T Sport Cymru.

Rowena Kincaid

The BBC Wales picture editor wrote and presented two Before I Kick the Bucket documentaries about living with cancer.

The 40-year-old, from Cardiff, died from breast cancer in September, seven years after she was first diagnosed.

In the months before she died, Ms Kincaid - who defied the doctors telling her she would never see her 40th birthday - wrote a letter to her cancer, telling the disease she would not go down without a fight.

Beth Fisher

Image copyright Agenzia/Beth Fisher

The international hockey player, from Penarth, become the first LGBT Sport Cymru ambassador in 2014 and is on Welsh Cycling's board of directors.

The Swansea Spartans player told BBC Wales News young women should never be afraid to be their true selves.

"Never accept being told you cannot achieve something - most importantly always try to be kind," she said.


Which woman inspires you?

Every year BBC 100 Women names 100 influential and inspirational women around the world, creating documentaries, features and interviews about their lives.

On Thursday, anyone can take part in the edit-a-thon event from their computer at home or at work - watch the video below to understand how.

But we want to hear your stories about the Welsh women who inspire you.

Send your suggestions for the women you think should be added to Wikipedia by tweeting @BBCwalesnews and the hashtag #100WomenWiki.

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Media captionHow to become a Wikipedia editor

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