At the end of the First World War, Virginia Gildersleeve, Dean of Barnard College, Caroline Spurgeon, professor of the University of London and Rose Sidgwick of the University of Birmingham decided to create a world organization that united university women, in order to avoid another war, this was the origin of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW).
In 2015, IFUW changed its name to Graduate Women International (GWI) in order to attract a larger number of members. GWI fights for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education, and training for the highest levels of leadership. GWI seeks that 100% of girls and women in the world have a higher education than elementary. Currently, GWI has national affiliated associations in 60 countries and individual associates in other 40 and is a consultative body of the UN.
After its re-foundation, the Mexican Federation of University Women (FEMU) joined IFUW in 1992, during the XXIV Triennial Conference of the IFUW in Palo Alto, California, although previously it had already been part of this Federation in 1927.
FEMU is proud to belong to this network of women who fight for a world of equality and peace where everyone has access to education and contributes to the integral development of peoples.
In 2015 Marianne Wimmer from Austria had an idea: She wanted to be the first woman to visit all the women’s museums in the world. She did not loose much time, and started her visits in women’s museums around the world. In a series of articles here on this platform she will tell us about her experiences, starting with this one:
(The articles of Marianne Wimmer will soon be available also in German on the blog of the Women’s Museum Meran: www.ichfrau.com.
“Did you know that there are 66 women`s museums in the world?”, my friend Resi asked me, while visiting the women’s museum in Merano, Italy. In this very moment the idea popped up in my mind: “Hey, and you will visit them all, as the first woman in the world!” Immediately I knew: This will be my project for retirement.
At that time (summer, 2015) my friend and I were on a bicycle trip along the river “Etsch”. We both like the combination of nature, workout and cultural activities. Our (bike-) trips are mainly consisting of these ingredients. Now, with the new idea in my baggage I ideally can combine my love for travelling and the one to go deeply into a special materia, especially if it deals with feminism.
And soon there would be more time to deal with it. Only one more year separated me from translating the idea into action.
Marianne on her bicycle tour along the river Etsch
Ayse Gül Altinay, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Center at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, was one of the cooperation partners of Women’s Museum Istanbul to organise the the first Asian and European conference of women’s museums “Feminist Pedagogy: Museums, Memory Sites, Practices of Remembrance” in Istanbul in October 2018.
She was sentenced to 25 months in prison earlier this week. She is one of over 1200 Academics for Peace who three years ago signed a statement “We will not be a party to this crime” appealing for an end to violent state-sponsored persecution of Kurdish citizens of Turkey. In this, her fourth, judicial hearing, Altinay was charged with “willingly and knowingly supporting a terrorist organization as a non-member.
International Association of Women’s Museums, IAWM stand in solidarity for Ayse Gul Altinay and presently, in Turkey 700 signatories of the statement “We will not be a party to this crime” have been or are still on trial. They all need our support.
An event in cooperation with the University of Innsbruck
On the occasion of its 350th anniversary the University of Innsbruck presents itself in Vorarlberg with the twelve-part series of events “Researchers up close”. The Frauenmuseum Hittisau discusses women in science.
What motivates women scientists, what fascinates them about their field and how do women who are committed to science think?
Stefania Pitscheider Soraperra, director of the Women’s Museum Hittisau, talks with three scientists from the University of Innsbruck: astrophysicist Konstanze Zwintz, philosopher Marie-Luisa Frick and sociologist Kristina Stöckl. The discussion will focus on personal and societal challenges, but also on how women organize their everyday lives as scientists and the significance of gender roles in science.
Image: Maria-Luisa Frick, Kristina Stöckl and Konstanze Zwintz
On the occasion of today’s International Museum Day, IAWM calls to end the repression against academics who have worked for peace and social understanding in Turkey!
On the occasion of today’s International Museum Day, the International Association of Women’s Museums (IAWM) is calling to end the repression against academics who have worked for peace and social understanding in Turkey. Since 2016, several hundred academics in Turkey have wrongly lost their jobs; many are on remand or have been sentenced to prison terms. IAWM demands that those detained be released and all of them can return to their jobs in order to continue their work.
The theme of this year’s International Museum Day is “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition”. Women’s museums around the world are working as Cultural Hubs, preserving history and passing on traditions to the next generations. An indispensable pillar of women’s museums is the work of academics, without whose work as researchers the museums cannot perform their function of preserving and mediating tradition. Women’s rights and dealing with their history are the basis of a society that is growing towards a happy and successful future.For this reason, IAWM calls for ending all repressions against academics who have worked for peace and social understanding in Turkey.
For more information from the Turkish Human Rights Foundation see:
Around 18th May 2019 museums around the globe celebrate International Museum Day (IMD). The theme of 2019 is “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition”.
Many women’s and gender museums in our network have been cultural hubs from their beginnings. Many of us are not only museum professionals, but are also event organizers, networking specialists and activists. This is how women’s museums around the world celebrate International Museum Day:
The Board of the International Association of Women’s Museums (IAWM) congratulates the former Board member of IAWM and Director of the Women’s Museum Mexico, Patricia Galeana, for being designated Ambassador of Mexico in Colombia.
The Women’s Museum of Mexico City is founding member of the International Association of Women’s Museums. Patricia Galeana has been a member of the Board of this association representing the region of Latin America. In the name of our network we share the happiness that she will now hold this important position and wish her the best of luck.
The BIRTH CAFÉ CAMPAIGN is an open participatory project and works as a solution-oriented protest for a better birth culture. The initiative wants to bring together all forces across borders and document in a sustainable way, what women and families experience, achieve, and need at birth – today, in the future and in earlier times.
BIRTH CAFÉS ‘For a good start into life’ connect generations and cultures– The initiative is working on a non-profit basis and would like to provide the format BIRTH CAFÉ for all, who want to participate actively in the process of change in birth culture. Supported by the initiative, everyone can become active and organize a BIRTH CAFÉ for adults, teenagers (JUNIOR) or for exchange with escaped women (Welcome). At every coffeetable and through the documentation on the website, the experiences of women during pregnancy, giving birth and the time afterwards is made available for politics and parents. In the past, grandmothers and mothers used to pass on their knowledge to the next generation – it is the goal to revitalize this empowering tradition for women today. Continue reading →