Lewes FC is delighted that our own volunteer club photographer James Boyes has received a ‘Barnstar’ award from Women in Red, and is indeed the only person to receive one in 2022.
Women in Red are an organisation fixing gender bias on Wikipedia.
James was nominated for the award because he has made “a substantive change to improving the visibility of women footballers on Wikipedia”, according to Women in Red founder Roger Bamkin.
“Lots of people take pictures of footballers but James publishes his photos with an unusually generous license”, said Mr Bamkin. ‘Not many people know that 99.9% of photos on the internet are copyright which means that they cannot be used commercially on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Therefore James’ generosity is exceptional and important to Wikipedia who only allow photos on their site which are free to be used by anybody for anything’.
Wikipedia publish biographies of over 1.5 million notable people but over 80% of them are men. James’ images of women footballers are reused by Lewes FC and Wikipedia. Photos of Lewes players on Wikipedia, Twitter and Instagram very frequently come from James’ photostream.
James’ unusual publishing license is the reason why lots of published photos of women footballers from other teams come from his Flickr account. Other league match photographers are less clear about licensing, so when Wikipedia creators look for a photo of a woman footballer they look specifically to see when they played Lewes.
As a result the Wikipedia articles of many women footballers show them when they were playing Lewes FC Women – either at home at the historic Dripping Pan, or away – and James took their photo.
James was surprised to be nominated for the award but said that he was ‘happy to do anything to help grow women’s football’.
One of the nominees for the award was Helen Pankhurst, advisor to CARE and a supporter of Women in Red, who said, “Throughout history, women’s contributions to society have too often been kept in the shadows and then forgotten altogether. It’s vital that we stop this from happening; that we find ways to document women’s stories, to celebrate and to remember their achievements.”
Roger Bamkin is a Wikipedia supporter. He was Chair of Wikimedia UK when it became an official UK charity with a London Office and gained its first employees. In 2015 he and (now Dame) Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight founded “Women in Red” which has since changed the number of women on Wikipedia from 15.5% to over 19%.
Women in Red is so-named because women who are mentioned on Wikipedia (but who do not have articles) have their names coloured red. In the last six years the organisation has gathered 600 members, tens of thousands of new articles, and sister projects in thirty other languages. Roger said ” Women in Red has succeeded in dramatically improving the gender gap on Wikipedia”
Creative Commons 4.0 cc-by-sa is the unusual license that Wikipedia requires for all the photos it includes on its web sites in over 300 languages. James uses an even more generous license so his photos can be used by anyone anywhere in the world. They don’t have to ask permission they only have to mention who took the photo.
We became the first professional or semi-professional football club to pay its women’s team the same as its men’s team, as part of its Equality FC campaign.
The Women’s first XI play in the Championship League (the second tier of Women’s Football in England) but their ambition is to win promotion to the Women’s Super League to play at the highest level of the sport. The Men’s team play in the Isthmian League.
Lewes FC, formed in 1885, is a 100% community-owned and not-for-profit football club. The club is led by directors elected by its 2400+ owners.
Anyone, anywhere in the world, can buy a single share in Lewes at LewesFC.com/owners
The text and pictures here are licensed with a Creative Commons 4.0 cc-by-sa license