The list of exciting events for the 8 March or the Women´s History Month is packed. But what about the rest of the year? Visit – online or in real life – one of these fascinating museums from around world, dedicated entirely to women, everyday, year round:
- The Women´s Museum in Dubai, UAE is concerned with documenting and showing notable women throughout United Arab Emirate´s history, as well as being a contemporary cultural center.
- Vietnamese Women´s Museum, Hanoi, Vietnam. Listed as one of the Top 25 museums in Asia. Online exhibits covers the rich and sometimes brutal history, as well as challenges in today´s Viet Nam, folklore, fashion and every aspect of the role of women.
- The Sudanese Women´s Museum was established by The Documentation Unit for Women´s Studies (DUWS), an organisation which has also established the first, secular higher education institution for women in Sudan, the Ahfad University for Women (AUW). The museum is located in Omdurman, but even the online resources for DUWS are very interesting and both DUWS and AUW are calling out for international communication and collaboration.
- International Museum of Women is an online museum and part of the Global Fund for Women. One of the online exhibits is the beautiful Muslima, on Muslim women´s arts and voices. Well worth a visit!
- Women´s Active Museum on War and Peace, (WAM), in Tokyo, Japan, is one of several museums in Asia dealing with the horrible legacy of “Comfort Women”, women and girls abducted by the Japanese military from Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, China, Japan and elsewhere, and used in brothels during World War II.
WAM documents the crimes of the past and work for reconciliation and justice for the survivors, but also work for the present and future. The museum´s principles includes: “upholding that justice free from any gender bias shall be universally applied”, “create a pro-active people´s network to enable a world free of all forms of violence”, and “take action to enable cross-border solidarity”. Even if you can not visit the physical museum, the web site has plenty of texts and images and is a rich source for historians.
- La Musée de la femme Henriette Bathily or MUFEM, Senegal. The museums objective is “to make Senegal known by the place and the role of Senegalese women in community, rituals, and popular and traditional arts”. By now 23 years old, this museum claims to have been a bit of a first in Africa. The objective is to be a source of knowledge both, for non-Senegalese, as well as the Senegalese themselves to discover the various customs and traditions of other ethnic groups, communities, and regions of this small country, through the lens of women. The museum´s founder, the writer Annette Mbaye D’Erneville (age 91!), and active board members, are also involved in various campaigns, such as advocating for the abandonment of female genital mutilation. At last year´s International Women´s Museums conference, Annette Mbaye D´Erneville, recieved the Award for Achivements in the Service of Women´s Museums.
- National Women´s History Museum is another online museum, whose lack of a physical building has perhaps helped fuel the museum´s presence in cyber space. Website, Facebook, Instagram etc are constantly updated with stories of remarkable american women.
- Museum of Women´s History (Kvinnohistoriskt Museum in Swedish), situated in the beautiful, northern city of Umeå, Sweden. The current exhibit runs from 4 March to 4 June. It is titled “Breast” and features photographs by Elisabeth Ohlson-Wallin, originally taken in aid of the Swedish Breast Cancer Society. Elisabeth Ohlson-Wallin , is known for the internationally toured exhibit “Ecce Homo” (by some seen as highly controversial, as it featured Christian motifs recreated with people from the LGBTQQ community and victims of AIDS). The exhibit “Breast”, explores questions about female body ideals and the construction of norms. Not to be perceived as sexist, the photos of the breasts have been photographed separately in black and white, then re-photographed as a print, held by the clad women, (famous and non-famous of all ages). Female senior scientists in Ethnology and Art History, as well as female art-, and film critics, has contributed with texts exploring the topic.
- The Gender Museum, based in Kharkiv, Ukraine, has much of its activity online.
The purpose of the museum of women´s and gender history, is education and to create awareness on the construction of gender in society. Thanks to Google it is possible to read much of the texts but featured on their website are also forums and photo galleries.
- Thirsty for more? Of course you are. Luckily you can explore the world map of all museums attached to The International Association of Women´s Museums (IAWM).