10.18.13

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Scarcity of Women is Not a Free Software Issue But a Western Issue (Science Stereotypes)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD at 8:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Anna Troberg

Summary: Tackling the claim that FOSS discourages women (common way to discredit a movement or individuals) using real research

OVER the years we have challenged many attempts to demonise FOSS by claiming that it was hostile towards women. This is actually a dishonest attack on FOSS, which narrows down a computer science (or more broadly, science) issue and tries to ascribe it just to the segment of collaborative and freely-shared software.

Over the past few days there have been numerous articles [1-4] that shed light on the gender gaps and where they can be found, why, and how to measure it. It is not a FOSS issue. It’s a real issue, but it is not a FOSS issue. It’s just a convenient way to try to attack FOSS, just like feminism or chauvinism have both become a very effective mechanism for attacking/discrediting individuals. Anna Troberg (pictured above) should know this.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. SparkFun Ponders Women in STEM Fields

    Tuesday was [Ada Lovelace] day and to recognize it SparkFun posted an article about women in their workforce and the STEM initiative. [Ada Lovelace] is credited with forging a path for women in mathematics and computing. The STEM acronym represents a movement to get more of America’s students into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields in order to keep up with the rest of the developed world.

  2. How The Gender Gap In The Sciences Differs Around The Globe

    A map from UNESCO provides a very rough picture of “the gender gap in science” around the globe, showing large swaths of relative equality in parts of South America and Central Asia, and great inequality in countries including India, France, Germany, and Japan.

  3. The Boards Are All White: Charting Diversity Among Tech Directors
  4. Science images from across the globe

    One hundred images form a stunning new photographic exhibition that demonstrates the role played by imaging across many areas of science.

    The show reveals many aspects of Nature not usually visible to the naked eye.

    The Royal Photographic Society is hosting the event alongside the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

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