Pinays discussed takebackthetech and FOSS in the Philippine Conference on FOSS and E-Governance

Manila, Philippines

The conference is all about advocating FOSS in the government specially in the Local Government Unit (LGU) level. Apart from the main event, WomensHub organised a mini-session for women present to talk about the takebackthetech campaign and FOSS training/mentoring for girls.
(7 March)

I just came in from IPD conference: Philippine Conference on FOSS and E-Governance which will run for two-days, 7-8 March, the conference site is

Part of the conference is a FOSS Fiesta where a lot of FOSS advocates (local & international) are present— demonstrating/showing tools and different OS distributions. WomensHub is one of the exhibitors in this FOSS Fiesta, apart from relating the work she’s done in training women in the NGO sector to use ICT, she also showcased the work and issue papers of APC and WNSP on gender and ICT policy, violence against women in the digital spaces, training women in ICT and FOSS.

Other than that, a call for TakeBackTheTech (tbtt) dev was distributed to quite a number of developers present who seemed to be willing to participate. WHub also ran a small-group back-to-back brainstorming session, the intention was to talk more about the tbtt dev and FOSS training/mentoring for girls that Pi Villanueva (one of the pioneer-Whubber) thought of.

The group started talking the takebackthetech campaign— what images of women do we usually find in the internet. Then connected it to our own experience being "Pinay" (Filipina)— when we search "Pinay" in google, usually, what are the top ten sites? …pornographic sites, mail order brides sites?

Each one then related their personal thoughts, issues they’re concerned with and actions that they have done. It’s amazing to know that something has been done actually— collectively or individually — to promote the Pinay (even the Filipino family) status and image.

The session was attended by an interesting mix of 11 women—

… majority coming from different areas/sector in IT most of whom blog and have informally organised before through IRC to blog about being a Filipina— they call themselves "Yan ang Pinay" ,

… a medical doctor who is running a care-giving school and is

interested to use technology to have a broader reach educating Filipino workers to alleviate them from doing domestic work and

… Girlie, pioneer in women’s movement in the Philippines, whose looking for technology solutions for the benefit of Filipino overseas contract workers (OCWs) family and the community they live in. On the side, she also mentioned her bad experience when googling her name being girlie is mostly associated in pornography (see the connection to tbtt ;) )

So diverse the group is and with different agenda why we’re there, we however did find a common ground— strengthening positive images of being "Pinay" (the Filipino women)… first action is to create a googlegroup called "pinaytek"… a more inclusive word to mean Filipina using and/or working in technology. It’ll be a space where we can ask, share, learn, discuss strategies on how to educate each other and young women about FOSS, brainstorm solutions and organise actions using IT.

Philippine Conference on FOSS and E-Governance

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