May we present… our member: Lé Musée de la Femme Henriette Bathily in Senegal

Sep 20, 2017

The Musée de la Femme Henriette Bathily was inaugurated as a tribute to all women in Gorée on June 17, 1994.

The museum was founded by the Consortium of Audiovisual Communications in Africa (CCA), led by Annette Mbaye D’Erneville, supported by a group of scientists, historians and sociologists. It contributes to education, liberation, emancipation, moral and scientific arming of all Senegalese women on the paths of development.

Annette Mbaye d’Erneville

The founder of the museum Annette Mbaye d’Erneville has not only founded the first African women’s museum, but also inspired others to do the same. Mali and Central Africa followed her example. The Canadian WM was founded by her niece. „Tata-Annette“ (aunt) or „Mere-bi“ (mother), as she is called, shows us how one single woman is able to change the world. As first female journalist in Senegal she worked for the emancipation of women for all her life. She founded the first women’s magazine and several women’s organizations, as well as the first film festival in Senegal. She was deeply involved in the development of her country. For her achievements she received the first IAWM award during the Fifth International Congress of Women’s Museum in Mexico City in 2016.

The prize was donated by the Soroptimist Clubs of Vaduz (LI), Zug (CH), Goldes (A), and Meran (I). From left to right: Christine Peer (SI International Europe), Astrid Schönweger, coordinator of IAWM, Monika Studer, SI Club Vaduz, Mona Holm, president of IAWM, Lydie Olga Ntap, WM Canada, Sissi Prader, WM Merano, Italy.

At first sight, the creation of a women’s museum might seem like a useless fantasy; but if we think about it, we know that women are at the center of all community life. Through them the life and the future of a whole community is influenced. Then the interest in a women’s museum does not have to be justified.

For 20 Years, the women’s museum was located on the island of Gorée. This original Museum was the first of its kind on the African continent. Up until today it presents its collections which illustrate all the phases of the life of Senegalese rural and urban women.

The main objective of the Henriette Bathily Women’s Museum is to unveil the place and the role of the Senegalese women in their communities, rituals, and popular and traditional arts.It opens up new point of views through field research, interviews, family collections, photographic reproductions, recordings and films, and archival consultations. The Museum’s magazines will attract the interest of nationals and foreigners and introduce them to an important aspect of Senegalese community life: the organization of society evolves around women. Another interest of the Senegalese Women’s Museum is that it allows non-Senegalese to enter the “intimacy” of the Senegalese society either for research, studies, academic work or simply to get to know the other. The Senegalese can themselves discover the specificities of other ethnic groups, of other communities, of other regions: customs and traditions varying between groups. In short, the Senegalese Women’s Museum, while being an educational and cultural structure is also a socio-economic organization.

Latest News

Poster Art and Solidarity

“The country has strong women - give them space!” This is one of the statements on the posters that campaign for the preservation of the Museum of Women‘s Culture Regional - International. Interestingly, this is a poster sent in by a male from Fürth. In January 2022,...

read more

Welcome to the Bremer Frauenmuseum

A new women's museum has joined the International Association of Women's Museums (IAWM). We would like to give them a warm welcome. The Bremer Frauenmuseum in Germany is a virtual museum, which means it is cooperating on various projects with other institutions or...

read more

Headscarf as a Cultural Signifier

The international exhibition Headscarf as a cultural signifier opened in the WomeN'S Museum of Novi Sad, Serbia on May 18, 2022, as part of the Novi Sad-European Capital of Culture 2022 program, and will last until the end of June 2022. The project is managed by the...

read more
Share This