International Women’s Day – Competition!

This is a post of an email originally sent to the Ubuntu Loco contacts for distribution to their communities.

Greetings all!

Firstly, some introductory reading for those who are not familiar with International Women’s Day:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women%27s_Day and
http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

Ubuntu-Women has tried in the past to find some way to celebrate this
event, but as far as I can remember it has never really amounted to much
other than some chattering on IRC. So let us try a bit harder for 2010!

We have all come to Ubuntu in our own special ways — every single one
of us differently to the next. Yet one of the most common questions we
get asked is “How can I get $woman to use Ubuntu?”.

Obviously we cannot really answer that question, but we would dearly
love to have a collection of stories by women about how they discovered
Ubuntu. Such a repository would allow us to demonstrate that there’s no
one definitive answer, and at the same time maybe provide the gift of
inspiration to women who are interested — showing them that it’s really
not so unusual to be Ubuntu fans after all.

We are not expecting any particular length, but do remember that these
stories should be suited to perusal at leisure and not require someone
to allocate hours of their day to read. Anywhere between a few
paragraphs and a OO.o Write page is ideal.

There will be two (2) prizes up for grabs. One (1) prize pack will be
given to the story that the community votes is their favourite. One (1)
prize pack will be given to a randomly drawn entrant. Jono Bacon, the
Ubuntu Community Manager will be drawing this entrant in a videocast,
and announcing both winners to the world on March 8th.

Please email your stories to ubuntuwomen.competition@gmail.com by UTC
23:59 22nd February 2010.

By submitting a story, you acknowledge that it will be posted on the
Ubuntu Women website under the Creative Commons Attribution
No-Derivatives [0] licence. If you prefer that your story be posted
under a less restrictive licence such as Creative Commons Attribution
[1] or Public Domain [2], then feel free to let us know when you submit.
All stories are to be non-fiction and of a family-friendly nature. The
organisers also reserve the right to interview prospective winners over
the phone or other voice chat at their discretion.

We will celebrate International Women’s Day by announcing the winners,
who will receive gift packs (which are still in negotiation — we will
announce when it is confirmed!).

Good Luck!

p.s: Please pass this along to *any* women you know who *use* Ubuntu —
the more the merrier!

[0] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/
[1] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
[2] http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain

Melissa, Amber, Laura, Lyz and Mackenzie

What did Mark Shuttleworth say at Atlanta Linux Fest 2009?

I am just wondering what Mark Shuttleworth said at the Atlanta Linux Fest 2009 when he delivered his keynote address which has sparked a furore in some corners of the blogosphere.
He is alleged to have made some sexist remark about the  women which from the letter in the above link, did not go down with lots of people. I have searched for the transcript of his address but have not found it. I am just curious to know in which context he made that statement.
I am  one of those who have wondered out loud about the participation of women  in FOSS.  There is no doubt that more men are involved in FOSS than women. However, the contribution that women can make to FOSS can simply not be overemphasized.
It is in this regard that I humbly call on all the wonderful ladies out there who felt offended by Mark Shuttleworths comment to keep their cool and not take his personal remarks to mean that of men in general, for that is the impression I got from this blog post by Srlinux on Tuxmachines. 
Also, I would humbly implore that Mark’s comments are not taken as an excuse to initiate any form of boycott Ubuntu campaign for Ubuntu is way bigger than one individual and thus should not be made to suffer for his errors.
The future of FOSS depends a lot on the active participation of more women and comments that have the tendency to inflame  passions especially among women should be avoided especially by people of Mark’s caliber. To all the women out there, I say we really appreciate your involvement in the FOSS movement and are deeply sorry for any offense you might have taken in his remarks.

Women- the missing factor in the Open Source equation.

Women, a very important constituent in every facet of life, are surprisingly missing in the Linux equation, or at least they seem so to me. Virtually all those that I am aware of in the Open Source world are men. Everybody I know on all the FOSS forums out there is a man. I am left wondering why it is so. Is it that Open Source is a male reserve or what? 
I strongly believe that women can make a very big, and I mean big impact in the quest to spread Open Source to all parts of the world. Seeing the strides women have made in all other facets of life, it is  little wonder that their apparent absence in the Open Source movement can really be felt.
It is my view that a conscientious effort be made to get more women involved in the Free Software movement. This, no doubt will help further the cause of the Movement. I am very  much eager to hear from any of the wonderful ladies out there who are involved in Open Source.

WOMEN- WHY DO WE NOT CHERISH THEM?

I love my mother. That is not just another cliche. Hardly a day goes by without me thinking of how much I love her so much. Seeing how she never hesitated for once to part away with her very last savings just to see me through my education, I really don’t for once believe that I can love her back as much as she did me.
There are millions of women all over the world who are just like my mother, women whose efforts day in and out makes the lives of so many people a worth while one. Women who sacrifice all they have just to make the lives of their children and family a comfortable and bright one.
I doubt if I can get the right words to describe the kind of effort that women put into making this world of ours keep going. There is no doubt, that every single person on earth has benefited from the efforts of some woman before.Women to me, play a multi task role in life. They are our mothers, wives, sisters and very good friends.
Yet, it looks to me as if all the efforts that these great and wonderful creations of God Almighty put into the lives of all of us, is yet to be appreciated. Go to many parts of the world, and the kind of evil, cruel and senseless brutality that is meted out to these gems is unthinkable. In many parts of Africa for instance, the stupid, nonsensical tradition of female “circumsition” is still very widespread. Why subject women to such an ordeal all in the name of some stupid cultural belief?

That is not all the woes that lots of innocent women bear, there is the innumerable cases of women having to always be the bread winners of families after their irresponsible husbands have absconded or shirked their duties of being bread winners of the fammily. Walk to any market in Ghana, for instance, and you will be sad to see the ardous tasks and struggles that women go through to make ends meet. You find them sitting on the scorchy sun, yelling their hearts out to call at customers, some carrying very heavy loads on their heads which has been converted into mobile stores among others.

Then there is the most abhorring, pure stupid and senseless brutality of domestic violence and violence against women in general. I still can’t understand why anybody will ever lay hands on such great and magnificent gems. I really wish there were very harsh laws than we have right now to deal with this menace. Ah, I believe most men have the strength to only hit women. They such cowards that they just can’t stand up to their problems and the only way out for them is violence. To such men, I say the the strength of a man is not measured by his ability to hit a woman but rather by his magnanimity and patience with a woman in times of misunderstandings.
I ask myself this question, and perhaps you can help me with an answer, why are women subjected to so much brutality and ill treatment from men? I just can’t fathom the answer and I hope you have an idea that you will share with me. I have  written this post in the hope to starting a debate amongst young men like myself and women to just delibrate over this issue of women and how they are treated.
Perhaps what most people who do not respect or regard women as much as they ought to be regarded and respected is that they have not imagined for once what life on earth would be like without women. They are a very vital part of life and it is time that all of “menkind” begins to cherish these wonderful and magnificent beings whose efforts touches the lives of every single one of us.
I do not agree with the belief that just a day be set aside to mark  “mother’s day” or “women’s day”. I belive every single day must be mother’s day and women’s day. We must shower all the love, compassion and care we can muster on our women every single day that we are blessed to live with them. They are very much priceless gems that we have to start appreciating and adoring. To all women, I say “ayekoo” and thank you very much for your unrelenting effort to make the world comfortable for all those in your lives. I love you all.

AN OPEN LETTER TO MULLAH OMAR AND THE TALIBAN IN AFGHANISTAN.

Dear Sir, it is with great sorrow and agony that I put these words of mine on paper to you. There is no doubt about the bravery of you and your warriors. Your country was invaded– in the 21st century- by another country that claims to be the beacon of law and democracy on earth, the reason for the invasion being a subject in its own right. You have every right to defend your country from marauders and stooges. On that score, I agree with you and you have my fervent prayers. However, your legitimate fight against the invading forces should not blind you towards your responsibilities to your very own country men and women. On countless occasions, your own compatriots have leveled allegations of monstrous proportions against your forces. You have been accused of using some entire villages as human shield against the mighty missiles of the invader. This is an unacceptable behavior on your part since the very creed in which you believe in makes it absolutely clear in its rules of engagement that unarmed men, old aged people, the young and women especially, be protected as much as possible from any collateral damage during a conflict. It has also been reported that any time you enter a village or town, you impose your own interpretation of Sharia, which I vehemently disagree with you on. You see, if it is Islam you aim to establish in Afghanistan, then I honestly believe you do more harm than good to your cause when you go about amputating, beheading, mercilessly beating women for stepping out of their houses, destroying people’s stores for selling music among a host of basic, fundamental human rights abuses that the very Islam you want to establish speaks against. To put it in simple terms, your very treatment of your own people has actually given Islam a bad image on an epic scale that all the propaganda machinery of the so called enemies of Islam can only dream of. You also use the abhorring tactic of suicide bombing, which needless to say, is in direct contravention of the very Islam you seek to establish. The list of allegations against you and your group can easily fill an accounting text book. But that is also why I write you this letter, to tell you my view of what a Jihad is meant to look like in my limited knowledge of Islam. First, I believe you know that the Laws of Islam cannot be altered or modified by anyone, including the rules of engagement. Islam’s laws were codified 1431 years ago and will remain so till eternity. So next time you engage the invading forces, please make sure that you protect non-combatants and women especially from all collateral damage. Neither should you use them as human shield. It is very despicable of you to do that. Also, the imposition and enforcement of Sharia Law is the sole duty of an established Islamic state, none of which is on the Earth today. You have not yet established your Islamic utopia. You are only a a guerrilla force, and so to shove your “radical” interpretation of Sharia on people just because you have the guns and you believe you have been anointed to be their leader is a gross violation of their fundamental human rights to choice of living. Islam was spread by someone through a methodology, over a period of 22 years after which it had become a force to be reckoned with. If you want to establish Islam, then you have to necessarily follow the methodology of the founder and first leader. The very first step is not to force laws down the throat of people but rather to purify them from inside out. That was how the founder of Islam went about his duty. He purified his people through the Revelation he received, educated them, showed them respect, protected them and loved them dearly. I can’t say you have done even one of these and yet you want Islam to be the order of the day in your country. Your indiscriminate beheading of your fellow compatriots and Muslim brothers is, to say the least, very shameful both to you and to the Islam you want to establish. You don’t have the right to condemn someone to death in your sham “Islamic courts”, that is also the duty of an established Islamic State. Afghanistan is not an Islamic State because there is no Islamic government in place. So please don’t just go about beheading people, chopping of arms and limbs. It is simply wrong. Now to my final point, women are not second class citizens in the Islam that was brought by Mohammad. They are the very helpers and mates of men. Your treatment of women is so appalling. You treat them as if they are robots who can’t think on their own. If no one told you, women are very intelligent and capable as men. There are instances in the history of Islam that women taught the companions Islam, the famous of which is the incident of Umar and the issue of bride money. Instead of spending so much energy on keeping the women inside, I suggest you channel that energy into helping them establish small scale businesses to cater for their children since the men are too busy fighting off the invaders. Help them earn a sustenance, educate them, show them respect, stop beating them in public when their burqa falls off , and above all, know that they were created to be helpers of men and not their slaves. This is just an observation I have made about your cause in Afghanistan and just want to share them with you. May you have the heart to change and follow strictly the Islamic rules of engagement with regards to your own compatriots. I whish you all the best in your struggles. Yours truly, A concerned citizen of Earth.

ARE THERE WOMEN WHO ARE INTO OPEN SOURCE?

Before you think anything else,my heading is simply a curiosity i have as to how enthusiastic women are about open source software in general and Ubuntu linux in particular.I just wonder if ladies are also as passionate about open source as we guys are.

I know there are quite a number that use open source,but are they as passionate as we guys are?I am also wondering how the Open Source movement can benefit from the active involvement of women.

This is just a curiosity that has been nagging my mind for some time now because in my part of the world,open source,even among guys who are into IT,is something new and is not very common to come across street talk centering around open source.

Is open source only for guys?Why do you think ladies are not as enthused about open source as guys do?Do your know of ladies who use solely open source software?Are you a lady who is as passionate about open source as a guy can be,please get in touch and share your opinion.