About Women, Power, and Politics

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Welcome to a world where women rule!

Untold stories of women claiming and exercising their power around the world and throughout history come alive in I.M.O.W.'s global online exhibition Women, Power and Politics.

From March 8 to December 31, 2008, I.M.O.W. unveiled new stories to audiences worldwide in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. Each month we focused on a different topic and asked the questions no one else was asking. The exhibition now features hundreds of curated and community stories, videos and artwork from over 200 countries.

Women, Power and Politics will continue to be available permanently as one of the largest online sources of content about women's political participation.

To start your journey through the exhibition, watch our Welcome video, select a topic to explore or look at our list of inspiring take actions. You can also watch our exhibition launch video (on left) featuring Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, or read a letter from Curator Masum Momaya.

Letter from Curator Masum Momaya


Women, Power and Politics is curated by Masum Momaya. Ms. Momaya has been a women's rights activist for more than 15 years and holds advanced degrees in public policy, feminist studies, education, and human development and psychology from Stanford and Harvard Universities. Read her personal inspirations and the overall vision behind the Women, Power and Politics exhibition.

I'll never forget an "a-ha!" moment during college that changed my life forever. I was sitting in a class discussing research about rural village women in India, the land of my ancestors. By most measures, people would consider them powerless - poor, illiterate, worthy of pity.

But this was not the conversation of our class. We spoke of the songs they sang, the strength in their voices, and the sharpness of words that conveyed a nuanced understanding of the world around them. In harmony, these women were nothing less than a force to be reckoned with.

This was the 1990s, when scholars instructed students to deconstruct, or take apart, everything. Every effort was "problematic" in some way or another, and people were "dupes" of "the system." Useful as this might have been to understanding why things were the way that it were, it drained my creative force and left me with little hope.

The "ah-ha" came when I thought to myself, "in order for the world to be different, you have to be able to imagine it, to articulate a vision for the world that you do want. It cannot come into being without that. That's what these women in India were doing, imagining and articulating through song the world they wanted to live in.

This is what the International Museum of Women -- and Women, Power and Politics - are about. Together -- the museum, our contributors, and our visitors are creating a place for this imagination to happen. Using words, art, film and song from around the world, from past and present, we are articulating a vision for a better world.

Wars are fought over words, art, and the ways in which we represent the world. And peace, equality and social justice, will, in the end, also be made through representing the world authentically anew.

I invite you to join in this remaking. As Arundhati Roy so eloquently puts it, "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing." It is up to us to give that breath voice.

In the spirit of invitation,

Masum Momaya
Curator of Women, Power and Politics


Meet the Team

Exhibitions Staff

Sanja Alajbegovic, Editorial Coordinator
Jean Cheng, Director of Online Exhibitions
Renee Gasch
, Online Promotions Coordinator
Catherine King
, Vice President of Exhibitions and Programs
Masum Momaya
, Curator, Women, Power and Politics
Kathryn Robinson, Multimedia Coordinator


Debbie Costello, Interim Exhibitions Manager

Allison Dufty, Editor

Tamera Ferro, Project Manager

Wendy Miller, Image Acquisition Specialist

Christina Murray, Video Editor

Exhibitions Committee

Elizabeth Colton
Karen Offen
Nancy Unobskey

Special Thanks

101 Translations
Marie Ange Bordas, Artwork
Mediatrope, Website Design
Michael Yap, Design


M. Jacqui Alexander
Purnima Bhatt
Ida Blom
Gabriela Cano
Mounira Maya Charrad
Carol Chetkovich
Farida Jalazai
Temma Kaplan
Terry McAullife
Tricia Murajda
Deborah Puntenney
Lyn Reese
Holly Taylor Sargeant
Jessica Taft


William DeVar
Charys Hayden
Julia Halprin Jackson
Sudeshna Sen Gupta
Hasna Ziraoui
Cate Conmy
Tess-Marie White
Morgan Levey
Laura Hennemann

Lead Organizational Partners

Global Fund for WomenThe Global Fund for Women is a grantmaking foundation that seeds, strengthens and links women's rights organizations in every part of the world.

The White House Project

The White House Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to advance women's leadership in all communities and sectors-up to the U.S. presidency-by filling the leadership pipeline with a richly diverse, critical mass of women.

Women's Learning Partnership

Women's Learning Partnership (WLP) is dedicated to women's leadership and empowerment. WLP's primary objective is to increase the number of women taking on leadership and decision-making roles at family, community, and national levels, practicing a leadership style that is horizontal, democratic, egalitarian, and inclusive.


The Nathan Cummings Foundation

The Nathan Cummings Foundation is rooted in the Jewish tradition and committed to democratic values and social justice, including fairness, diversity, and community. It seeks to build a socially and economically just society that values and protects the ecological balance for future generations; promotes humane health care; and fosters arts and culture that enriches communities.

The Foundation owes its existence and inspiration to Nathan Cummings, who rose from impoverished beginnings to become the founder and guiding force of the Sara Lee Corporation. He inherited a spirit of sharing and a sense of community from his immigrant parents and transmitted these values to his children and grandchildren, who now contribute their time and energy to the Foundation.

Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq: SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.0 million client brokerage accounts, 1.2 million corporate retirement plan participants,262,000 banking accounts, and $1.4 trillion in client assets. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors.

Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC, http://www.sipc.org), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through its Schwab Institutional division. The Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC) provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com.

Charles Schwab Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization funded by the Charles Schwab Corporation. Its mission is to give back to the community by supporting employee-selected causes and fostering financial literacy through funding, involvement and expertise. More information is available at www.aboutschwab.com/community.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores, the internet and other distribution channels across North America and internationally.

Wells Fargo is headquartered in San Francisco, but it is decentralized so every local Wells Fargo store is a headquarters for satisfying all our customers' financial needs and helping them succeed financially. Wells Fargo has $575 billion in assets and 159,800 team members across our 80+ businesses. Wells Fargo is the United States' 27th largest employer (SEC 12/07). Wells Fargo ranked fourth in assets and sixth in market value of our stock among our peers as of December 31, 2007.

The Wells Fargo Vision: To satisfy all its customers' financial needs, help them succeed financially, be the premier provider of financial services in every one of our markets, and be known as one of America's great companies.

Barbara Lee Family Foundation


The Barbara Lee Family Foundation is dedicated to engaging women in the American democratic process and promoting their participation at all levels of government.

Contact Us

International Museum of Women

101 Howard Street, Suite 480

San Francisco, CA 94119




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