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From Noirin Plunkett <noi...@apache.org>
Subject Our Charter
Date Tue, 01 Aug 2006 18:44:04 GMT
Somehow in all the excitement when this group was initially created, I
never actually looked at the Charter too closely.

(Note: for those of you in the same position, a copy of the charter is
at http://wiki.apache.org/Women/InitialCharter)

I skimmed it, read with my brain rather than my eyes, and saw what I
wanted to see.

Now going back to it, I realise that actually, this is a charter I
disagree with, I think it's fundamentally flawed.

I would like if we could replace every instance of 'women' with a word
that includes both genders - 'people', 'newbies', 'interested
proto-participants', anything that's not discriminatory.

I'd also like to change point 4 to include cultural background -
including things like language, and cultural factors (such as an
unwillingness to appear 'pushy', which results in patches not being
followed up on & applied). I don't think this should be to the exclusion
of gender issues - just to broaden our remit.

Women are underrepresented in technology fields generally (according to
FLOSSPOLS, 28% of people working in proprietary software development are
female, compared to /roughly/ 50% of people on the planet), but they're
/vastly/ underrepresented in open source development (1.5% of
participants, according to the same report) in particular. However,
there's also a vast population of men who could be contributing but
aren't, and I don't think we should exclude these from our efforts.

If we can make the ASF a more open, comfortable, easy-to-work-in
environment, everyone wins. I understand that it's very easy for a group
of women to focus on helping other women - it's easier to put ourselves
in the shoes of those who are similar to us. And I'm certainly not
saying we should insist on fixing everything at once. However, I do
think we should start the way we mean to go on, and that, to me,
requires a much more inclusive charter.


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