The International Museum of Women, also known as IMOW, used to be an online museum committed with women’s issues worldwide. It still supports this cause but IMOW merged with the Global Fund for Women in March 2014 and has since worked hand in hand with the organization to raise awareness about women’s rights.
IMOW fights for the mission it believes in: to value every single woman’s life around the world. It is a social change museum that looks forward to inspire global action and to amplify the voices of women worldwide. The International Museum of Women accomplishes its mission by offering online exhibitions, creating dialogue and building a community, teaching the role of women in history, and educating through arts and culture.
Creation of the International Museum of Women
The fight for women’s rights and gender equality was already there when IMOW was founded as the Women’s Heritage Museum in 1985. This institution organized for over 10 years exhibitions, sponsored book fairs, hosted public programs, provided teacher resources for Women’s History Month, recreated historic events and honored women.
In 1997 it became the International Museum of Women thanks to Elizabeth Colton. It started organizing major exhibitions, hosting public forums, creating a speaker series drawing world-class artist, and developing educational curriculum for schools.
Projects of the International Museum of Women
As part of the Global Fund for Women, IMOW has launched online projects such as the Imagining Equality initiative that aims to showcase voices of women around the globe who explore equality through creativity. IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology is another project which is based on a global campaign and media project to explore the roles of technology and science in progressing in gender equality.
Before merging with the Global Fund for Women, IMOW created in 2006 an interactive and multi-lingual exhibition online, and connected over a million people around the planet. It was called Imagining Ourselves: A Global Generation of Women. In 2008 they created the online exhibition Women, Power and Politics that showed visitors the stories of women of transformed women’s lives and the whole society through politics and power. The goal was to encourage women to take part in politics and take action in their communities.
The International Museum of Women also organized speaker series where women who have made political, social and economic changes for women worldwide, gave lectures to show how women can and have made a difference throughout history. They organized special events where the status quo was questioned and women where empowered and encouraged to make a change.
The Global Fund for Women
The organization is committed with the women’s and girls’ human rights and want them to be free from violence and the fear of suffering it, to be able to control their own bodies and decisions, and to empower them. Together with IMOW they demand the violence, sexual and domestic among others, to stop and speak up for the safety of girls and women worldwide. They support women economic and political empowerment, requiring fair working conditions and combating trafficking. As well as full access to reproductive and sexual rights and health, such as safe abortion.
The Global Fund builds movements worldwide and works with every continent to guarantee women’s rights. They have organized an initiative against trafficking in Asia and the Pacific, as well as empowering women in these regions to be part of the political panorama. They fight against discrimination and for equality for the marginalized populations such as the LGBTQI community, sex workers, indigenous people, that face too often violence and threats. Building a safe world for girls and fighting against under aged and forced marriages is another of their goals, as well as showing and teaching women in Sub-Saharan Africa to grow their own food. They also put an effort to protect and strengthen women in South America who fight for social justice.