Thursday, February 8, 2007

Women and FOSS

Yuwei Lin's paper, Inclusion, Diversity and Gender Equality: Gender Dimensions of Free / Libre Open Source Software Development" ( states that as of 2002, only 1% of FOSS developers are women. By August 2005, at the the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), held in Oregon, USA, this figure was updated to 2%. A 100% increase since 2002, but still a very small number.

So, why are there less women in these FOSS initiatives? Many women say that the male chauvinism that they encounter is one of the major cause restraining them from contributing to FOSS. The comments made by some of the male counterparts often discourage them from joining this movement. Other reasons include ignorance about the topic, lack of sufficient technical help to women and so on.

The question is, what can we do to change this? We can't expect the men to change overnight and come out of their male chauvinism. But we can surely help ourselves. By developing women's groups, we can make women to help women in any possible way required. And then, there are those men who are also ready to help women in FOSS movement.

So, what are we waiting for girls? There are these whole new opportunities that are waiting for us. GO GRASP THEM NOW !!!!