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.
How does IMOW fulfill its mission?
IMOW is a groundbreaking social change museum that connects and inspires people with powerful ideas and new ways of thinking that transform women's lives and the world. With its unique focus on cultural change, IMOW advances the human right to gender equity worldwide.
We invite you to join this innovative twenty-first century museum and invest in making the world a better place for our daughters, granddaughters and nieces as well as our sons, grandsons and nephews by participating in IMOW's latest global online exhibition Economica and visiting our other online exhibitions Imagining Ourselves and Women, Power and Politics.
You can take a peak at what IMOW has planned for our next full-scale exhibition focused on global motherhood and maternal health here.
How was IMOW founded?
IMOW was originally founded as the Women's Heritage Museum in 1985. For over 10 years, the Women's Heritage Museum produced exhibitions, hosted public programs, sponsored an annual book fair, provided teacher resources for Women's History Month, honored unknown women from our local history and recreated historic events.
One day a woman named Elizabeth Colton was seeking a destination to take her daughter to learn about women's lives and history. Elizabeth, without knowing her, contacted Gloria Steinem, noted feminist activist, and asked her to identify such a place. Upon learning that nothing existed, Elizabeth discovered the Women's Heritage Museum and soon become a dedicated volunteer.
In 1997, Elizabeth took notice that a group of local teachers were seeking a place to take their students. After a few years of serving on the board and working with the museum, Elizabeth and a group of other board members were sitting around her kitchen table and decided to transform the existing Women's Heritage Museum into the International Museum of Women. The small group then asked 100 women and men to each donate $1,000 to create the new museum.
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.
In 2005, IMOW embarked on a plan to build an innovative twenty-first century museum model to engage and impact women around the world through strategic partnerships, innovative global online exhibitions and local events.
For an extended IMOW history click here.
Who is associated with IMOW?
IMOW also receives strategic guidance from its Global Council members, a group of distinguished women leaders from around the world. The Global Council is a group of diverse international leaders such as Eve Ensler, Dolores Huerta and Mary Robinson (former president of Ireland) who are committed to strengthening and improving the lives of women throughout the world through education, health care, social welfare, community development, politics, law, the arts, media, science, technology, sports, philanthropy, business, protection of the environment and the promotion of world peace and justice.
What programs does IMOW offer?
As a social change museum, IMOW. offers global online exhibitions serving a worldwide community. Through the use of advanced technology, strategic partnerships with global organizations, and global events, IMOW offers innovative programming both locally and beyond.
SPEAKER SERIES: Extraordinary Voices, Extraordinary Change is IMOW's renowned speaker series, held in San Francisco. It is a series of lectures by women from around the world who have made profound and unprecedented political, social and economic changes in the lives of women worldwide. These lectures highlight the roles they have played to show that women can and have made a difference nationally and internationally.
EXHIBITIONS & SPECIAL EVENTS: Exhibitions and community events offer visitors engaging experiences that inform them about women's issues and roles across cultures and throughout time, provoking them to question the status quo through an examination of individual identity, cultural structures and social order.
Interactive global online exhibitions invite visitors to join in dialogue with other women around the world, support international partner organizations doing important work on behalf of women, and build global communities through the reach of the internet.
ONLINE EDUCATION: As part of a continuing commitment to education, IMOW provides online art and education programs and curricula for teachers that are culturally-sensitive, age-appropriate and interactive.
Is there a membership program?
We welcome museum members beginning at $35 for students and seniors and $50 for individual membership. You can join online.