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Free Software Foundation will host a mini-summit on Women in Free Software

by peterb Contributions Published on Aug 24, 2009 11:27 AM
The Free Software Foundation will host a mini-summit on Women in Free Software to discuss how the free software community can cultivate and increase participation by women in free software's development and activism communities.

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Monday, August 24th, 2009 -- On September 19, 2009, Deborah Nicholson of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), Stormy Peters of the GNOME Foundation and Hillary Rettig, free software activist and author of The Lifelong Activist, will gather a small group of women activists, thinkers, and scholars to identify strategies and initiatives that will foster sustained participation by women in the movement.

As organizations representing an international movement to bring free software and freedom to everyone, the FSF and GNOME Foundation are seeking practical initiatives to increase the participation of women in the movement. Historically, women have been underrepresented in the technology and free software communities, and despite recent increases in the adoption of free software, the situation has not significantly improved. Deborah Nicholson said, "At the summit, we will discuss existing entry points, why women don't always feel invited, and when they do, why they don't always stay. Individual projects have found ways to make women welcome and we will look at some of these examples and discuss how to build on those successes. We will also identify new strategies and tactics to help create a balanced community."

Stormy Peters said, "The Women in Free Software mini-summit will be an opportunity to discuss how the FSF and the GNOME Foundation can work with the free software community to more effectively encourage women to participate, and to make policy and program recommendations to the FSF and the wider community to further this goal."

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

Media Contacts

Peter T. Brown
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

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