This is an attempt to help create resources for women to create chapters i.e casual groups meeting in conjunction with other women's groups located in different parts of the world. Since UW has already gone global, let us act locally and bring more women into the Ubuntu circle !
There will be nothing official about the local chapters, rather they are encouraged to be loose-knit, casual groups to spread the word about Ubuntu-Women locally. All we ask is you tell us about the good work that you are doing
Please remember that UW_Circle is not meant to create additional divisions or sub-groups, rather its meant to allow women to reach out to other women locally and in general just find their place under the sun !
Again, we are _not_ creating local UW groups. Absolutely not !
Read on ...
Currently, we already have a global outreach especially in terms of getting women volunteers to participate and be more vocal, visible and active in the community. But we are not there yet ... As of June 2006, women constitute ''only 2.4%'' of active volunteers in the Ubuntu communty.
Even if this is marginally higher than the Floss survey ratio at 1.5%, we are a long way off from representing half the world's population in the Ubuntu community. So how do we increase the current ratio from the lowly 2.4% to a respectable double digit figure, within say, the next one year ? Don't you think that would be a nice way to celebrate UW's second anniversary ?!
Think global, Act local!
All of us here are a global bunch of women who interact with like-minded women from all over the world, using and volunteering for Ubuntu. Evenso we are still a small minority as is. Are we aware how many women in our city, state or even country use Ubuntu, who are unaware that the Ubuntu spirit is all about giving something back to others !!
Most women think that they need to have tons of volunteer work to show for themselves but that is not true.
Having local city/country chapters increases the UW Circle, gives women freedom and empower each of them to reach out in their own way to talk and encourages them to reach out, meet other women and promote Ubuntu Linux locally. If we ignore them we lose the opportunity to reach out to all the women (potential volunteers?) who use Ubuntu in our city/state/country and are not yet in the UW_Circle.
Tips to get started
Some ideas on how to get started are listed here. Feel free to add your own here. It helps a lot if local chapters try and find ways to ::
- Create a circle of like-minded women in your college or university and form a local UW chapter in the city you live in. It could be country or city-wise. Use you local women's support group like Linuxchix or Systers.
- Highlight and report any Ubuntu cheer being spread by other women in your city.
Use this wiki to create a sub-page and announce it on the mailing list and forums. For example: /UW_Circle is the main page for listing worlwide chapters. To create a local chapter create a country page first and then your state/city/village, etc... which will look like this /UW_Circle/myCountry/myCity
- Discuss things you want to do ...1. advocacy? 2. meet-ups? 3. Ubucons ? 4. promote Ubuntu Linux? 5. something else?
- Decide when where and how you wish to do this, what resources will be needed, who can provide those to you locally.
Co-ordinate with local Linuxchix chapters (external link), universities, community colleges, non-profits, etc... to get the word out about Ubuntu Linux.
- Use the mailing lists, forums, IRC, online news channels or any other ideas you can think of to get more women to join your local event.
- Organise an Ubucon locally and tell us about it.
- You could combine it with another community event happening in the locality. It does not necessarily have to be a technical event. Any event where the organisers are willing to let you demo your Ubuntu goodness is fine.
- Find sponsors (local IT companies) willing to provide space for the meet-ups.
- Women who work in IT firms that use FLOSS can ask their employers what $Company does to increase diversity in their firm. Find out how $Company gives back to the FLOSS community and encourage them to start if they have not already. Tell us about the women ratio in your company and how the FLOSS training your employer is giving to female employees is helping you and the company.
- Talk to other women who have not yet used Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Edubuntu and help them get started. You can organise a demo for women in a local school, university or for your office staff and co-workers.
- Bounce ideas off others and find ways to involve and encourage more women, even school girls (potential volunteers?), to try out Ubuntu in schools, universities, offices, ....
- Tell us about how you helped your local non-profit Women group use Ubuntu.
- Anything else not already mentioned or done before.
- Is this supposed to be a loco-team for women ?
NO, absolutely not. Again this is not to separate or even create a new team of women. The sole aim should be to get more women (users, tech contributors) volunteers who will increase the level of female participation in Ubuntu and thereby FLOSS. Repeat, we are _not_ creating local UW groups. Read this page again and if you still have doubts talk to us on the mailing list and forums. Hopefully we might be able to address them.
- Can men contribute ?
Yes, they can. Their suggestions, ideas and help is always valued. So, while we encourage men to help out with various issues (finding a place to hold meet-ups) or tasks (event sponsors?) that women will need help with along the way please do remember to leave the decision making and management to women. This is simply because women need to learn to play a stronger role in co-ordinating, decision making, managing things, all roles which they rarely get to do in a traditional atmosphere.
Please remember that each individual chapter decides if men are welcome to attend every event. If you are interested in participating, it would be nicer to check with the local chapter on how you can chip in. Incase women organise a meet-up for women only, please don't flame or argue that men should be allowed to join it. That is neither helpful nor polite.