Focus


From March 8 to December 31, 2008, I.M.O.W. unveiled new stories to audiences worldwide in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. Each month we focused on a different topic and asked the questions no one else was asking. In its entirety, the exhibition now features hundreds of curated and community stories, videos and artwork from over 200 countries. View stories by selecting a topic below.

YOUR VOICES

From March to December 2008, I.M.O.W. community participants from around the world submitted stories for the Women, Power and Politics global online exhibition. They shared their art, poetry, commentary, and personal stories in four languages. We’re showcasing the top community submissions to the exhibition below. To read other community stories specially featured in the exhibition, click here to browse the topics.

Inspired? You can submit your story to our community. We welcome your original writing, video, photography, art, drawing, animation and more. Your work could be featured in our online community in 2009. We look forward to hearing your voice!

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Podcast Special Feature: Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga Speaks at the I.M.O.W. Speaker Series Event

Highlights

Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority

I was a graduate student at the University of California Berkeley's journalism school when Patsy Takemoto Mink died in 2002.


TOOLKIT

The Women, Power and Politics global online exhibition (WPP) showcases women from all walks of life claiming and exercising their power. How can you exercise power in your life and work to better your community and the planet? Here are ten actions you can take!

This companion toolkit brings exhibition stories together with Web resources and how-to guides developed by leading women's organizations such as The White House Project, iKNOW Politics, Global Fund for Women, Women's Learning Partnership, and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, to name just a few.

Get inspired and make a difference! Be sure to check out our list of over 100 take actions featured during the Women, Power and Politics exhibition. 

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ORGANIZING

How and why do women organize? For more than a century, women have banded together to address issues such as abolition, reproduction, suffrage, equality, discrimination and violence. They have crossed borders of language, nation, gender and generation to create a better world for themselves and their communities.

From quilt making to policymaking, from young girls to Radical Women, women all around the world are organizing to promote gender equity. Join us as we reflect on key historical moments and highlight promising initiatives women are undertaking in the present day. Listen to our podcast with Meizhu Lui about the effects of the 2008 financial crisis on women and read Curator Masum Momaya's introduction to this topic.

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Podcast Meizhu Lui: Who’s Bailing Out Whom?

Highlights

Girls Helping Girls

Sejal Hathi is a 17-year-old student at Notre Dame High School, in San Jose, California. In 2007, when she was 15, Sejal founded Girls Helping Girls, an international non-profit organization connecting girls from the United States with girls from other countries. The organization fosters self-esteem and helps young women dialogue about important issues, nurture cross-cultural friendships, and collaborate to create social change in their local communities.


ELECTIONS

How do women experience campaigns and elections? Are elections an empowering process for women voters? Do women make unique contributions to the process?  Join us as we explore women who run for office and the women who vote for them.

Meet the class of 1992, the so-called "year of the woman" in the United States. Learn the answer to the classic question, "What do women want?" from the founders of Australia’s first women’s political party. Discover the perils women face along the campaign trail. Listen to our podcasts with Masuma Hasan and Fatima Bhutto on women's political participation in Pakistan and read Curator Masum Momaya's introduction to this topic.

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Podcast Fatima Bhutto: Women's Political Participation in Pakistan

Highlights

Electing Dragons

Until 2008, election law in the tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan allowed only one vote per household. Even though Bhutanese women hold the majority of property deeds and run households, those votes were almost always cast by men.

This year, Bhutan enacted universal suffrage--granting the vote to all adult men and women. Now, women play a critical role in practicing and perpetuating democracy, a fairly novel concept in this ancient kingdom.


VOTING

Does a woman's vote mean she really has a say? And is anyone listening, anyway? Join us as we explore a woman's right to vote. If she's got it, does it matter? And if she doesn't, what stands in the way? Discover where the ballot box fits into the evolving world of power and politics, past and present.

Meet the daring women's suffrage pioneers, who won their first victories a century ago, as well as their modern sisters, who still fight for the vote today. Discover a fictional pop icon everywoman who gets out the vote with a song and a shopping cart. And how was your first time? Add your personal voting story to ours. Listen to our podcast with Rasha Hifzi on women and the vote in Saudi Arabia and read Curator Masum Momaya's introduction to this topic.

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Podcast Rasha Hifzi: Saudi Arabian Women Without the Vote

Highlights

Malaysia's Star Everywoman

By her own description, Mrs. Bedah looks like your average middle-aged Malaysian "auntie," favoring a headscarf, sunglasses, and a loose-fitting floral print baju kurung. She's not pop star material. So what's she doing on YouTube singing remakes of songs by American pop icons Justin Timberlake and the Pussycat Dolls? And why do Malaysian politicians and voters care what she thinks?


DEMOCRACY

When democracy is in danger, or nowhere to be seen, women stand up and speak out, often at great risk to their own lives. Join us as we explore women's roles in fighting injustice, promoting equality and protecting the democratic process.

Discover the range of creative tools women employ to make their voices heard: an old-fashioned postcard and the instant click of a mouse are just two examples. Follow democracy as it blooms, nourished by free speech as well as forgiveness. Listen to our podcast with Malalai Joya, "the bravest woman in Afghanistan," and read Curator Masum Momaya's introduction to this topic.

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Podcast Special Feature: Malalai Joya Speaks at the I.M.O.W. Speaker Series Event

Highlights

Dictating Democracy

Can art act as a catalyst for social change? In the United States, where freedom of expression is protected by the first amendment of the Constitution, New York-based artist Sheryl Oring encourages U.S. citizens to take advantage of that freedom with her ongoing performance piece I Wish to Say.


ENVIRONMENT

Women have always led the way when it comes to protecting the environment. Join us as we explore how women are connected to the world's resources, its wellbeing and its future.

Whether they're protecting their country's natural resources, providing food for their families, or saving seeds, women play a unique role in saving the earth. Discover unique tools women use to fight environmental degradation. Learn why natural disasters affect women most. Listen to our podcast with South African environmental activist Sibongile Musuku on how women's wisdom promotes conservation and read Curator Masum Momaya's introduction to this topic.

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Podcast Sibongile Masuku van Damme: Who Knows the Earth Best?

Highlights

Picturing Breast Cancer

A woman dying of cancer is wrapped in another woman's arms. Behind them, incinerators belch out dark clouds of smoke. Nearby, a one-breasted woman carries a placard reading: "The power to heal is in our hands!" In a corner, a dewy-eyed girl holds another with a simple plea: "Mamma died of cancer -- don't poison me too!"


RELIGION

Religious women make change happen, whether it’s by seeking peace or inciting war. Strong beliefs can inspire social justice or block a woman's access to freedom or equality. Join us as we explore the relationship between faith and politics in the lives of women around the world.

Discover how the veil can celebrate devotion yet divide worlds. Learn how one woman raised an army in God's name. Listen in as women sing to protest unfair laws in their country. Learn what the future holds for a new generation of Muslim women unburdened by fundamentalism. Listen to our podcast with Hadil El-Khouly on being a devout Muslim and a feminist and read Curator Masum Momaya's introduction to this topic.

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Podcast Hadil El-Khouly: Living Between Worlds

Highlights

A Curtain Between Worlds

To many in the Western world, the wearing of the hijab, or veil, by Muslim women is a mysterious and controversial tradition. Artist Georgina Choueiri--born into the Lebanese Civil War and raised in Beirut, the United States and Spain--was also intrigued by the custom.

In her series of luminous paintings and murals titled, The Veil, Choueiri explores the view from inside out and outside in.


APPEARANCE

What does power look like? Are women judged differently than men because of the way they look or dress? How do clothes convey power? Join us as we explore appearance and leadership.

Explore how the press covers appearance over substance. Trace the evolution of “the power suit.”  When women lead, nasty nicknames often follow. Discover how insults are turning into admiration. Meet women who refused to fit the mold. Listen to our podcast with Mahnaz Afkhami on the new generation of powerful women in the Muslim world and read Curator Masum Momaya's introduction to this topic.

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Podcast Mahnaz Afkhami: Leading the Way

Highlights

Fashion Is Political

Robin Givhan, the Pulitzer prize-winning fashion editor for the Washington Post, writes about the fashion industry and the ways in which it influences the lives of ordinary people who seldom find themselves walking along a red carpet. She refuses to accept the notion that fashion is somehow for "other" people. Instead, her goal is to show her readers that we all participate in "fashion" every time we dress ourselves. Fashion, in her opinion, is the most personal form of communication we have. It expresses who we are, and, more important, it expresses how we wish to be perceived.


BIOLOGY

What does being female have to do with politics? How is the female body respected, used, abused and manipulated in the political arena? Join us as we explore how, for better or worse, women are tied to their bodies in the political arena.

Explore the power of mothers to change nations. Test your knowledge of wives and daughters in the "family business" of politics. View how women have used their bodies as political tools. Discover the grave political costs of violence against women. Listen to our podcast with Geetanjali Misra on gender justice and read Curator Masum Momaya's introduction to this topic.

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Podcast Geetanjali Misra: Body Talk

Highlights

The Curse of Nakedness

A woman's body is both revered and feared in cultural traditions from East to West. It is immortalized as "pin-up girl" and simultaneously mystified as mother. A community of women in Nigeria, however, proved that a woman's body is enough to bring one of the largest oil companies to the bargaining table. When their words were not being heard, they made themselves be seen...by threatening to strip naked in public.


POWER

Across the globe and throughout history, women have made a difference in their communities and the world. Explore six places where women are claiming and exercising their power to make a difference.

Travel around the world with us as we focus on the untold stories of women taking part in politics. Listen to our podcast with "Political Mama" Irene Natividad and read Curator Masum Momaya's introductions to each featured country: India, Nigeria, Norway, Mexico, Morocco, and the United States.

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Podcast Irene Natividad: Talking Politics with a Political “Mama”


WELCOME


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