The International Museum of Women is an innovative online museum that showcases art, stories and ideas to celebrate, inspire and advance the lives of women around the world.
Through multimedia arts, cultural exhibitions and programs, IMOW connects and inspires people with powerful ideas and new ways of thinking about critical contemporary issues that transform women's lives and the world. With its unique focus on cultural change, IMOW advances the human right to gender equity worldwide.
IMOW was originally founded as the Women's Heritage Museum in 1985. For over 10 years, the Women's Heritage Museum operated as a museum without walls, producing exhibits, hosting public programs, sponsoring an annual book fair, providing teacher resources for Women's History Month, honoring unknown women from our local history and recreating historic events.
In 1997, in response to growing support, IMOW's Board of Directors began plans for a single destination museum in San Francisco and changed the name to the International Museum of Women. Since its inception in 1997, IMOW has organized thirteen major exhibitions, hosted public forums, developed educational curriculum for schools and created a speaker series drawing world-class artists, authors and political leaders.
IMOW's plans evolved in 2005 to focus on creating a new kind of museum that would engage and impact women around the world. A multi-faceted strategy was developed which uniquely combined innovative online exhibitions, local programs and events, strategic partnerships, and a permanent exhibition space to serve audiences both in the San Francisco Bay Area and worldwide.
In 2006, IMOW's strategy culminated with the launching of Imagining Ourselves: A Global Generation of Women, IMOW's first interactive, multi-lingual online exhibition that connected more than a million participants around the world. The wildly successful project garnered worldwide recognition and honors including the Anita Borg Social Impact Award. IMOW's imaginative, unique and cutting-edge approach continues in 2008 with the launch of the global online exhibition, Women, Power and Politics proclaimed the largest repository of global women'spolitical history.
IMOW reaches over 600,000 unique visitors annually from over 200 countries around the world, commuicates regularly with 40,000 e-news subscribers and receives artistic content from a community of 10,000. IMOW is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of philanthropic, business and community leaders, and operates with a professional staff and the support hundreds of volunteers. IMOW also receives strategic guidance from its Global Council members, a group of distinguished women leaders from around the world who are committed to strengthening and improving the lives of women globally.