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Astrid Schönweger, Italy


Function at IAWM: Coordinator of IAWM

Biography: My grandmother brought me up, and she educated me in secretly passed on female knowledge. Therefore, I was taught to rely on women as mentors since early childhood. As a single-mom, I have experienced first-hand that also in Europe equal rights mostly exist only on paper. Again and again, elderly women helped me, women like the foundress of the Women’s Museum Merano Evelyn Ortner who sadly passed away in 1997. For a long time I was engaged in journalistic activities; and I interrupted my studies in political science after the death of Evelyn Ortner in order to take over the women’s museum which I chaired until 2004. In 2008, I was scientific leader of the First International Congress of Women’s Museums in Merano and, then, I initially became the assigned coordinator of the network and later of the association. Besides this, I am working in adult education and as a writer.

Why am I working at IAWM?
Coming together, exchanging ideas, creating synergies, advocating collective interests and creating joint projects out of it, that is what I considered of major importance during my lifetime. I already co-founded the local network of museums in South Tyrol, and it was my dream for a long time to bring together the women’s museums. “Together we are strong” is my motto, and I see it as my duty as coordinator to promote the communication and the exchange between museums, to launch joint projects and, most of all, to advocate women’s rights together. To put it with the words of our godmother Shirin Ebadi: “Women are the basis of democracy and peace.”

Photographer: Alice Hönigschmid