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Today we are celebrating Women’s Day. Thank you to everyone who is making the tech sector more inclusive! Let’s continue working together to achieve gender parity and embrace equity. There might be problems coming our way, but we also have each other. Join us and meet the FSFE Women team.
“Women's freedom is the sign of social freedom.”Rosa Luxemburg, philosopher and socialist
Many women (as well as other under-represented groups) still have to ask for security and equal opportunities in the workplace and in other areas of their lives. Women and diversity bring different skills, viewpoints, and experiences to the workforce. To thrive we need women in technology and in Free Software, both as developers and as part of our movement. In 2018, women made up only 22% of AI professionals worldwide, and in 2021 they made up only 16% of computer systems managers in the US.
Women should be involved in shaping our digital infrastructure, bringing their own ideas to solve collective problems. It is paramount to harness women’s talent while building technology that addresses their needs. They should also have a voice in key decisions. We invite everyone to join us in making technology an inclusive space that improves our society.
"Diversity drives innovation – when we limit who can contribute, we in turn limit what problems we can solve."Telly Whitney, computer scientist and former CEO & President of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology
The FSFE Women group was created to help women -and everyone who identifies as female- to make connections and go deeper into technological issues. FSFE Women meets online every month to discuss different topics related to Free Software. The group is women-focused and open to inter, trans and non-binary people as well. You can join the group:
One of the activities of this group has been compiling a list of Women groups in Free Software to increase networking and lead those who want to code to existing Free Software programs.
"Coding is today's language of creativity. All our children deserve a chance to become creators instead consumers of computer science."Maria Klawe, Harvey Mudd College President, Computer Scientist
Moreover, the Women group has contributed to the FSFE wiki page with resources on programming for children. Let’s get more girls to code too!
"If we want technology to serve society rather than enslave it, we have to build systems accessible to all people -be they male or female, young, old, disabled, computer wizards or technophobes."Anita Borg, computer scientist, founder of the Institute for Women and Technology and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
Access to technology is a crucial aspect of achieving gender equality and creating a more democratic society. Technology must be at the service of everyone. And Free Software can respond directly to people's needs. Because it allows users to adapt it to their needs, it is a powerful tool to develop and bring technology to populations that lack coding skills.
Free Software can help close the gender gap. The use and development of Free Software, by providing accessible digital tools, supports the process of digital transformation and provides women and other under-represented groups with digital skills and the opportunity to develop their own software according to their needs.
For all the amazing potential of technology to be useful it must be unrestricted. We need Device Neutrality, for example, so that users can install and uninstall any software they want.
“We encourage women to crash computers and to put it all back together again. Preferably with an improved installation.”Genderchangers, a network for women, technology and freedom of information
We need software that does not restrict the users. With Free Software we can use a program fully without restrictions or trials, and we can understand, adapt, and share its code. We need software freedom.
The FSFE has implemented a code of conduct clarifying that in our communication channels people are expected to behave excellently towards each other. We formed a Care Team so that if you have experienced or become aware of behaviour contrary to the principles enshrined in this Code of Conduct, you can report it there. We have also taken measures to improve diversity within the FSFE.
“Political work should also be pleasurable, sociable, fun. If we can’t create organizations and enterprises and cultures like that, we’re not going to succeed.”Barbara Ehrenreich, American author, activist
In the Free Software movement we try to combine our work for software freedom with fun times. Stay strong and restless, but do not hesitate to chat with our community if you are just interested to meet like-minded people.
In this article we brought together quotes and artwork from women and non-binary people. Special thanks to Gwenn Seemel for sharing their art.
In this issue we have a podcast episode about the need that medical devices have Free Software. Watch our talks from FOSDEM and videos about legal issues when developing. Participants of YH4F are already coding. Thanks to all your contributions, our fundraising ended successfully. We bring community news from 9 countries.
Karen Sandler relies on a medical device to keep her heart pumping. She had a critical moment when her defibrillator misread her condition and she had no access to tweak the device. Since then, Karen has been on an odyssey to persuade doctors and manufacturers to embrace software freedom in medical devices. She recalls a case of a neurotechnology company that ended its support of retina implants. Despite such cases, things can improve in healthcare as more tech savvy people need medical devices. Listen to Karen’s interview in our Software Freedom Podcast
We have published 25 videos this month!
In our own Peertube instance you can always find our latest videos and leave comments! So, how to do it? If you have an account on any ActivityPub-compatible instance, e.g. PeerTube, Mastodon, or Pleroma, copy the URL of the video and paste it into the "Search" box of for example your Mastodon’s web interface. Comment from there!
Online & 🇩🇪 Germany: On 10 March 2023 Johannes Näder, FSFE Policy Project Manager, will participate in the workshop "Free and Open Software as a central component of diverse, sustainable digital ecosystems" in the German Bundestag [DE]. You need to register in order to watch it livestreamed..
🇩🇪 Germany: An author reading of “Ada & Zangemann – A fairy tale about software, skateboards and raspberry ice cream” will take place in the German city of Traunstein. Kulturforum Klosterkirche Traunstein on March 14.
🇸🇪 Sweden: On 24-25 April the FSFE invites you to join the foss-north conference.
🇺🇸 USA: An author reading of “Ada & Zangemann” will take place in Boston at the Convention and Exhibition Center on March 18.
Our community celebrated ‘I Love Free Software Day’ all around Europe. The FSFE local groups in Spain, England, Portugal, Greece, Germany, and Switzerland took up the call of the FSFE to get together and celebrate their love for software freedom in person. The Italian community organized an online event and even Free Software contributors from outside the FSFE joined the call and organised meetings like the ones in Austria and Barcelona.Special kudos to the FSFE Greece local group that celebrated this day in Thessaloniki, their first time organizing an event in this Greek city.
🇩🇰 Denmark: The FSFE local group in Aarhus gave a presentation about "Free Software and Permaculture" at Højskolen Mors discussing the importance of sustainability through refurbishment and resource-saving Free Software.
In other news, one hot topic for the Aarhus FSFE local group is the current discussion by the Danish Data Protection Authority about whether the use of Chromebooks and Google Workspace for Education in schools is legal.Øjvind Fritjof Arnfred from FSFE local group Aarhus. Denmark, February 2023
🇩🇪 Germany: The local group Berlin and the LinuxWorks LUG discussed Berlin elections, addressed server configuration problems of private servers, and noticed that old accounts in the Fediverse revived after the recent changes at Twitter.On Stage! In Berlin
🇮🇹 Italy: The Merano group created its own wiki.
🇳🇱 Netherlands: The FSFE country team Netherlands had a core meeting to discuss its strategy and will meet again on 15 March.
🇨🇭Switzerland: The next meeting is on 9 March.Cool vibes in Zurich
👩🏽🔧 Women: The FSFE Women team discussed wiki software: Gollum, a git-based Wiki, and PmWiki, a wiki-based content-management system (CMS) for collaborative creation and maintenance of websites.
If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please send them to us. As always, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you! If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution. Thanks to our community and all the volunteers, supporters, and donors who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators, who enable you to read this newsletter in your native languages.
Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou
On the 14th of February Free Software enthusiasts celebrated the 13th edition of the “I ❤️ Fee Software Day”! Hundreds of people and numerous organisations shared their love for Free Software and reached out to the ones behind these projects. Thank you for taking part in the celebration of our favourite type of software: Free Software.
For this years’ celebration of “I Love Free Software Day”, the Free Software Foundation Europe has organised several meetups and events all across Europe. The FSFE local groups in Spain, England, Portugal, Greece, Germany, and Switzerland have taken up the call of the FSFE to get together and celebrate their love for software freedom in person. Even Free Software contributors from outside the FSFE have joined the call and organised a meeting, like the one in Austria and Barcelona.Celebrating "I Love Free Software Day" in Madrid (Spain), Berlin (Germany), and Thessaloniki (Greece)
Apart from the visible presence on Twitter and in the Fediverse, the FSFE has also said thank you, in a more old-school way, to numerous projects with our newly designed postcards.Thank you postcards sent by the FSFE to Free Software projects
This activity has been well received and it was awesome to see how much joy a thank you can spread. The Free Software project DAVx⁵, who was among the recipients of the postcards, shared their happiness about the postcards in the Fediverse and thanked the FSFE for such a kind gesture.
Those are just some of the actions that took place for this years “I Love Free Software Day”. For all of you who want to continue sharing your their love for Free Software take a look at our share-pic generator or watch the new thank you messages on our Peertube-instance.Amandine “Cryptie” Jambert saying thank you to nextcloud and DAVx⁵
There are many more thank you messages and blogposts out there highlighting the work of Free Software contributors. It is touching to see so many people, companies and organisations joining us for this special day and reaching out to the people who work for software freedom. For the longer read we recommend reading the full "I Love Free Software Day: Meet & Connect" report.
Thank you for joining this years “I Love Free Software” celebrations ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
Whether you missed FOSDEM or didn't have time to attend all of our sessions, don't worry! Have a look at all our sessions from the last edition and learn, deepen your knowledge, and improve your Free Software skills.
It was great to see many of you in Brussels at FOSDEM! At this edition, which took place on the first weekend of February, we had the chance to meet in person, exchange opinions and have fruitful discussions with the Free Software community. We also had the chance to give several talks, the recordings of which are already available for everyone to watch.
As in previous editions, FSFE co-hosted the Legal & Policy Devroom, where various issues related to the topic were discussed.
We encourage you to check the talk of our volunteer and supporter, Luca Bonissi, about the Windows and Office "tax" refund.Watch the recording of the talk and find out about various cases involving the refund of payments for pre-installed software, and about the right to install any software on any device
Among the rest of the interesting talks was one from Marcela Kolaja, member of the European Parliament, that explained the EU pilot project “De-monopolized access to EU applications”.The aim of the project is to ask EU institutions to publish their applications in alternative repositories to the main app shops and to publish the source code of the applications
TEDective is a Free Software solution that is currently in development. It makes European public procurement data explorable for non-experts. TEDective won the transparency challenge of the EU Datathon 2022. It improves access to the data published by Tenders Electronics Daily (TED), allowing companies, organisations, journalists, etc. to explore and understand how public money is spent across Europe.Learn more about this solution and how it works
To shape the future of TEDective we are also looking for people who want to be involved in this Free Software tool, who can provide extra funding, and who once the application is ready will be beta-testers. Are you one of them? Then let us know at email@example.com.
We are sure that, by this time, you have already heard about our campaign ‘Public Money? Public Code!’. At FOSDEM we presented a policy briefing on the state of Free Software in the European Union and how to effectively promote Free Software across Europe.Take a look at the impact of this demand and the challenges that still lie ahead for software freedom in Europe Do you want to promote Free Software in public administrations? Find out how to do it
If you are interested in this topic and you haven’t done it yet, we suggest that you sign our Open Letter and follow the latest updates about this campaign.
Copyright and licensing is difficult, especially when reusing software from different files that are released under different licenses. REUSE was started by the Free Software Foundation Europe to provide a set of recommendations to make licensing your Free Software easier. At FOSDEM we focused on explaining how it works at the Software Bill of Materials devroom.Check out the latest features of our REUSE helper tool
All weekend long our booth was full of visitors asking us questions about our work, taking stickers, and buying shirts. If you like our work you can take your contribution one step further: become a supporter. The FSFE would be nothing without our supporters. And it would be so much more with you! Each financial donation multiplies our strength in public awareness, policy advocacy, legal, and technical expertise. Support software freedom, support the FSFE.
foss-north is a Free Software conference in Gothenburg that brings together Nordic Free Software communities. This year, the Free Software Foundation Europe is organising a track covering political and legal aspects of Free Software, as well as best practices from Scandinavia. We're looking forward to your contribution by March 5!
This year's foss-north will take place on 24 and 25 April, following a community day on 23 April. It will be a local, face-to-face event. While in the past foss-north has focused on the technical aspects of Free Software, this year there will also be room for presenting best practice examples as well as political, legal, and social issues related to software freedom.
We are looking for your exciting talks and insights! Please submit your abstract directly to the foss-north website by 5 March 2023 23:59 CET.
Your contribution could address (but is not limited to) any of the following questions: Where in your community, municipality, city or region is Free Software helping to shape the digital infrastructure? What interesting Free Software projects are being developed and adopted by your university, school, library, job centre or elsewhere, using public money to create public code? How can administrations foster software solutions that preserve the freedom of citizens and the sovereignty of our democracy? How can we as programmers, users, scientists, officials, politicians, and citizens contribute to software freedom? How can we regain control of our devices?
Contributions on other Free Software related topics and projects will also be considered for selection. Our session slots are 45 and 25 minutes. Please indicate your preferred length in your submission notes and using tags. The final programme will be announced by mid-March 2023.
foss-north is the perfect opportunity for you to share your knowledge and get in touch with other people passionate about Free Software. We look forward to seeing you in Gothenburg!