Code for Pakistan to host Open Source Day for Women

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January 23, 2017
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Code for Pakistan is collaborating with Habib University to host Open Source Day for Women in Karachi on January 28, 2017.

Women make up 48 percent of Pakistan’s population. But, the female workforce in Pakistan is less than 25%. According to a research, only 14 % of women workforce is in the tech industry of Pakistan.

Open source refers to software with its source code publicly available for people to modify and share. However, it does not simply mean to write a source code and make it publicly available, it is also about collaborative participation, transparency, rapid growth and community-oriented development.

The Open Source Day is an opportunity for women with a background in Computer Science to get started on Open Source Projects and network with mentors in the tech industry. It provides them an opportunity to come together and hone their tech skills. Huda Baig, Code for Pakistan’s Karachi rep, says,

“Women work so hard to acquire an education. They are incredibly talented and competent but they hold themselves back at a very early stage in their lives which results in this huge gender gap in the workforce and a big waste of resources. They need to prioritize themselves and make use of their skills so they can empower themselves, their families, communities and the economy.”

Huma Hamid, a Software Engineer and Code for Pakistan volunteer based in Seattle, is the woman behind the idea of Open Source Day for Women. She is a strong advocate of women in computing. She shares her inspiration behind the idea,

“I attended my first open source day event at The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) Conference, a full day track specially designed to give women of all skill levels and backgrounds the chance to contribute to the open source software. During the code-a-thon, we worked on humanitarian projects as a team and got an opportunity to network and work with mentors from a variety of commercial and nonprofit organizations (Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and OpenHatch). This experience took me out of my comfort zone and helped me in taking charge of my career. I landed my next job in the open source software development!

The exposure I gained from the OSD was a rewarding one and I wanted to share it with the amazing and talented women in Pakistan so that they can use this opportunity to learn, collaborate, contribute and connect and use their full potential to achieve their career aspirations. Code for Pakistan and Habib University provided me with a perfect opportunity to making this idea a reality!”

Code for Pakistan is a non-profit organization which focuses on building a civic innovation ecosystem to improve the quality of life across Pakistan. It uses digital tools and technology to enhance the delivery of its services by creating open source mobile and web applications and conducting civic hackathons.

The workshop will be held at Habib University, Karachi and the program will include industry experts, entrepreneurs, CTOs and machine learning experts and developers to provide mentoring and guidance.

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