International Association of Women's Museums

In 2000 – 2001, Pauline Cock­rill, who was then cura­tor of the Nation­al Pio­neer Wom­en’s Hall of Fame in Alice Springs, was that year’s recip­i­ent of the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry Gov­ern­men­t’s Wom­en’s Fel­low­ship. She spent three months over­seas study­ing the his­to­ry, man­age­ment and organ­i­sa­tion of real and vir­tu­al wom­en’s muse­ums, iden­ti­fy­ing around 40 wom­en’s muse­ums around the world, ded­i­cat­ed to wom­en’s cul­tur­al his­to­ry or art. Pauline Cock­rill described wom­en’s muse­ums as grow­ing out of the inter­na­tion­al wom­en’s move­ment of the late 1960s and devel­op­ing in order to bring wom­en’s his­to­ry out of the shadows.

The col­lab­o­ra­tion womeninmuseum”/Network of Wom­en’s Muse­ums was cre­at­ed at this first Con­gress, a loose union of wom­en’s muse­ums and ini­tia­tives ded­i­cat­ed to women which defined their com­mon objec­tives as: increas­ing the vis­i­bil­i­ty and accep­tance of wom­en’s muse­ums; active­ly sup­port­ing each oth­er; and mak­ing use of an inter­net plat­form in order to push ahead the work of the network.

The fourth inter­na­tion­al con­gress of wom­en’s muse­ums was held in Alice Springs, host­ed by the Nation­al Pio­neer Wom­en’s Hall of Fame. At this fourth con­gress, rep­re­sen­ta­tives decid­ed on a name for the inter­na­tion­al asso­ci­a­tion, the Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Wom­en’s Museums, 

The Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Wom­en’s Muse­ums has been estab­lished as a non-prof­it asso­ci­a­tion, with its reg­is­tered seat in Bonn, Ger­many. Its pur­pose is to pro­mote cul­ture, arts, edu­ca­tion and train­ing from a female per­spec­tive” and it under­takes to realise these objec­tives by research and devel­op­ment of projects, exhi­bi­tions, new ini­tia­tives, com­mu­ni­ty activ­i­ties, sem­i­nars and conferences”.

The ethos of the Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Wom­en’s Muse­ums includes active­ly sup­port­ing a glob­al net­work of wom­en’s muse­ums; encour­ag­ing female sol­i­dar­i­ty; pro­mot­ing gen­der-demo­c­ra­t­ic soci­eties; and strength­en­ing the accep­tance of wom­en’s muse­ums worldwide.

For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it the Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Wom­en’s Muse­ums web­page at https://iawm.international/