The outcome for men is determined by their choices (= they are subjects, actors). The outcome for women is determined by how society acts towards them (=they are passive objects). That dualism is objectifying of women.
in many societies - traditional and modern - we observe structural discrimination against women. so "outcomes" for women are more heavily constrained by society than "outcomes" for men. if i look up the definition of "objectification" i find one aspect of it as "denial of autonomy – treating the person as lacking in autonomy or self-determination". so it might be a stretch to say that society objectifies women according to this definition, but i'd certainly agree that society tends to restrict/limit the autonomy / self-determination of women more than it does men.
under that interpretation i roughly agree with your statement of "that dualism is objectifying of women", in the sense of that being a crudely accurate description of the reality of what society does, and i'd go further and claim that is not acceptable, and something we should endeavour to change, by changing society: "affirmative action", "positive discrimination", etc.
was this the point you were trying to make, or were you trying to argue the opposite conclusion?
edit: would it make any difference if it were women who were driving the changes to society that would benefit them and other women? would that be acceptable or would that be a case of women objectifying themselves and denying their own agency by taking action?
As an example of how gender roles can vary, I was in the Himalayas and in the local culture, the women did the physical labor. They carried our (heavy) bags where we stayed, and I regularly saw them carrying massive loads of firewood, on their backs, bent double, up and down mountain trails. I'm not sure what the men did; I only saw them playing cards and drinking (tea?).
From the article, "A World Wide Web Foundation study found that only 20% of women from Nairobi's slums - like Ms Wambui - are even connected to the internet. That's compared to 57% of men." That is the premise of the article. Women becoming engaged with technology against the odds.
> Why is there a competition for girls only?
There is an underrepresentation of women in tech . Regardless of how your political beliefs might sway you to think about this issue, the perception that women are underrepresented in tech will compel people to attempt to solve that problem. An all-girls competition is one approach.
> It saddens me that people actively promote sexism as something to be proud of.
It saddens me that people on the Internet actively water down language in an attempt to espouse whatever banal contention they have to opposing political views. You want to talk about sexism in Kenya, what about the fact that 21% of women in the country undergo female genital mutilation to prevent them from experiencing sexual pleasure ? The fact that a women's programming competition even lies within the same spectrum to you is astonishing. But I guess that's the world we live in these days...
As supernintendo said, there is a disparity between women and men in their technical literacy in Nairobi, so this competition chooses its focus based on said issues. When one takes into account needs and wants of certain groups, the argument of discrimination (the political kind) becomes harder to make. I'd say discrimination is more like restricting access not based on need of the participants but the preferences of the advantaged.
However, from your bigger point, I don't know what you mean, "because women have been disadvantaged for so long we don't have the social and political infrastructure to transition to a more equitable system." Equalization is happening already.
Also, I really don't think that men will not be freed from gender roles eventually as well on a cultural level. That too is happening already and, well, we can't judge how society will act until we are well near that. The current situation is easily interpret-able so we should focus energy on that until we are near the equal point.
But of course, the assholes always shout louder than the moderates.
Suppose also that due to the structure of how children are socialized and educated, the top (say) 15 percentile of boys end up with training in coding and "the chance" to make it, but only the top 5 percentile of girls.
It is not hard to see how this would lead to an inefficient outcome where we are missing out on some great coders, even leaving aside the aspect in which this situation is "unfair" to the girls.
It is in the spirit of this hypothetical that I judge the aims of these female-targeted programs and female-only competitions, and I think that on balance they are a very good idea. Draining resources from a gender-neutral competition to promote a female-only one is thus only superficially sexist. When the unseen effects are accounted for, it may bring greater balance and efficiency to the field.
I mean it: after a second and third close reading of your comment, I'm not sure I see anything that Creative Labs couldn't have programmed Dr. Sbaitso to write in response to those keywords.
If you do know something about Kenya that's relevant to this story, could you share it?
Now, as for your "serious questions". Yes, let's have them. But let's please not pretend that history, culture, and sexism don't exist. And be sure to contextualize your "serious questions", taking into account the specific historical and current challenges facing women and girls in Kenya.
How about we start by getting a ecosystem of coders first as 'we' did then specialise on working on gender and other equalities.
I know it doesn't make people feel good but it worked for us.