Fedora is participating in the GNOME Outreach Program for Women (OPW). Basically, it is a program similar to the Google Summer of Code, but is targeted solely at female contributors. In fact, the GNOME OPW started after GNOME received 0 female applicants from a total of 181 applications for the 2006 Google Summer of Code. There are many different factors and theories as to why this discrepancy occurs, but Marina from the GNOME project really sums it up well here:
Most successful applicants were already passionate about Free Software, but were not sure where to start – this is something we hear repeatedly from applicants. In our society, women are not as encouraged to take part in the Free Software development and do not typically have a social circle that would support them in doing so. Besides, Free Software as a community has not always been friendly to women participation with being homogeneous, making sexist comments and tolerating incidents of harassment.
Limiting the applicants to just females provides an easy, approachable way to get more women involved in FOSS development. Ultimately, as the FOSS development space becomes more balanced, we should no longer need programs like the OPW, as our community will be more welcoming and open to all.