Women & Free and Open/Libre Source Software (F/LOSS)

Posted 2 March 2006

This edition explores how FLOSS benefits women, and why there are so few women using FLOSS and participating in existing FLOSS communities. It also brings an interview with Olga Paz, administrative and project coordinator at Colnodo, a Colombian member of APC, on the inclusion of the gender perspective in ICT policy.


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GENDER CENTRED: A GenderIT.org thematic bulletin

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Women & Free and Open/Libre Source Software (F/LOSS)


I. NEW ARTICLES

II.FEATURED RESOURCES

III. WHO's WHO


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I. NEW ARTICLES


We assume FOSS benefits all equally. But does it really?

By Cheekay Cinco

FOSS has the potential to change the way women relate with ICTs, allowing for more control over the tools they use. As Users, women will have the freedom from steep licensing fees and the opportunity to influence software development to meet their needs. As developers, the open principle behind FOSS encourages a more collaborative environment, in which women may discover more freedom to create applications and solutions. However until women are recognised as equal partners, users and developers in FOSS, these potentials will remain at rest.

http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=93204


Women developing FLOSS - freedom for knowledge free from prejudice

By Graciela Selaimen

Sulamita Garcia is a 28-year-old consultant who specialises in Unix systems and is completely enthusiastic about free and open source software. She is responsible for the LinuxChix Brasil project. In this interview for GenderIT, Sulamita tells about the recent experience of LinuxChix Brasil, which is delivering online courses on FLOSS for women. She speaks about prejudice, stereotypes and the need for women to overcome initial difficulties when facing new technologies.

http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=91693


Women and ICT in Colombia: an issue still not completely incorporated in feminist agendas

By Graciela Selaimen

Olga Paz, Administrative and Project Coordinator at Colnodo, a Colombian member of Association for Progressive Communications (APC), explains in this interview with GenderIT that in her country there is still not a clear gender perspective on national ICT policies and that there is still a way to go in achieving an understanding of the role of ICT as a political and strategic issue that can be very productive in social organisations and women’s groups.

http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?w=a&x=92061


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II. FEATURED RESOURCES


Inclusion, Diversity and Gender Equality: Gender Dimensions of FOSS Development

The FLOSS development is responding to the ICT development in various ways. This essay describes and

analyses challenges (societal and organisational) and advantages (e.g. new models for mobile and collaborative work online), particularly regarding gender issues, encountered in the recent FLOSS development. The focus of the essay is not only on the claims made by women in the existed FLOSS community about the tensions between male and female developers' interests and ways of doings , but also on the current obstacles against bringing more women, who are not technically competent, to participate in the FLOSS development. This paper concludes with suggestions on how to create rules and resources and the creation of a common FLOSS space for both genders.

http://www.genderit.org/resources/lin3_gender.pdf


Gender & FLOSS, Asia Source Tech Camp

This statement on Gender and Free/Libre & Open Source Software (F/LOSS) was written by participants of a session on Gender & F/LOSS at the Asia Source Tech Camp, held in Bangalore on 28th January - 4th February, 2005. The Statement looks at gender in the context of the camp, with an aim to inform planning of similar F/LOSS workshops in the future.

http://www.genderit.org/resources/GENDER_FLOSS.doc


Visit the collection of a wide variety of other resources and articles related to gender & FLOSS in the reference section:

http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?apc=i90515-e--1


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III. WHO's WHO


Linuxchix Africa

Linuxchix Africa, founded in 2004 by African women and for African women is the Africa chapter of a world-wide group. In Africa, this chapter hopes to help build the critical mass of Linux skills among African women. It will also evangelise the use of FOSS for the many community development challenges being faced by Africans, especially African women. That is, opening access in what is meant to be a 'free and open' technology sphere.


To find out more about key stakeholders in the field of ICTs, visit the Who's Who in Policy section:

http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?apc=w--e--1


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*CopyLeft. 2006 APC Women's Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP)*

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