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What I am proud of, what seems so simply clear, is that feminism is a way to fight for justice, always in short supply.
Barbara Strickland
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HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux
Christina Haralanova | 11 January 2007


This article explains some of the difficulties and biases women face in the Linux community and examines various strategies for addressing those difficulties in order to encourage more participation by women. Author: Val Henson.


In this HOWTO, we’ll talk about why women stay out of computing in general, why they stay away from Linux in particular, and what you can do to help encourage women in Linux. We hope that this HOWTO will result in more women using, installing, and developing Linux.

This document is intended mainly for the male Linux enthusiast who would like to see more women involved in Linux. Its secondary audience is both men and women who have been too busy having fun with Linux and computers to sit down and think about why most women don’t share their interests. We hope you’ll come away from this HOWTO with some understanding of why women stay away from Linux and with a few ideas about what you can do to reverse that trend.

This HOWTO is not directed towards people who aren’t concerned about the lack of women in Linux, or think that women are better off staying away from Linux. If you don’t already believe that women are being driven away from Linux and computers by external causes, this HOWTO probably won’t convince you otherwise (although it may give you some interesting avenues of research to follow up on).

This HOWTO is definitely not intended to help male Linux geeks find female Linux geeks to date. The central paradox of women and Linux is this: often, the people most anxious for more women in Linux are also the people most likely to accidentally drive them away. Frequently, men who want more women in Linux solely so they have a better chance of finding a girlfriend end up acting in ways that end up driving women away instead! This HOWTO will try to explain which behaviors drive women away from Linux and which behaviors encourage them.

The main topics:

- Why are there so few women in Linux?
- Do’s and don’t’s of encouraging women in Linux

To read the manual: HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux





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