Why a Congressional commission wants a national women's history museum
Why a Congressional commission wants a national women's history museum A national museum of women's history would celebrate the accomplishment of women like these members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, who went on strike against non-union shoulder pads in 1930. (Kheel Center - Flickr/Creative Commons/AP Photo)
Why a Congressional commission wants a national women's history museum
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How many historically noteworthy women can you name? It's likely that the number you can list off the top of your head pales in comparison to that of noteworthy men. That's not because there's a lack of fascinating women in American history. Rather, women's history has only relatively recently begun to be explored. And the nation's museums have not yet begun to catch up. But that could soon change. That is, if a congressional panel has anything to do with it.
 
As Peggy McGlone reported for The Washington Post, a recent report cries out against the lack of representation of American women's history. It also calls for a new national museum. It could bring the picture into balance.
 
The report was presented to U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney. It is the product of 18 months of meetings, research and public engagement. The work was conducted by a bipartisan commission. The commission was tasked with studying the chance of a national women's history museum. Among its conclusions was strong support for a new museum. It would celebrate American women's history and achievements. The commission included a recommendation that the museum reflect diverse experiences and views. There was a plea for public and private financial support. There was insistence that the museum be under the authority of the Smithsonian Institution. In addition it should have a place on or close to the National Mall. The mall is in Washington, D.C.
 
"The first step to creating a national women's history museum is complete," said Maloney in a release. "We have an achievable plan. (The) museum...will honor the experiences and contribution of women to our great nation."
 
But does the country have the political will, or the funds, to make such a museum a reality? That's a tough question. In a statement, Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton told McGlone that, "building a new museum is not practical now." However, he said, "we recognize our responsibility to make sure that women's history is appropriately represented in all our museums. Assuming the funding recommended in the report is available, we will hire additional curators to help tell the growing and evolving story of women in American history."
 
Skorton noted that a similar effort has been successful. The effort is devoted to improving representation of the contributions of Latinos to American history and culture. In the 1990s, as The New York Times' Kate Taylor reported, a similar panel recommended not just a museum. The panel asked for an effort to correct an imbalance in the Smithsonian's coverage of Latino culture. Though such a museum does not yet exist, the Institution has focused instead on hiring more curators. It stages Latino-centric exhibitions. And it is beefing up its holdings.
 
Indeed, it took over a century of talks, federal legislation and an extraordinary amount of public and private money to fund the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. It opened in September. Only in 2016 did the United States obtain a national monument specifically devoted to women's history. And even notable women still remain strikingly absent from public sculpture.
 
Will or no, the commission's report does lay out a path to an eventual museum. It is included in a 10-year strategic plan. It recommends the creation of an initiative to lay the groundwork for such a museum. It wants Congress to donate a prominent plot of land. And it wants a campaign to raise between $150 and $180 million in private funds alone.
 
Even if the American Museum of Women's History never becomes reality, the report highlights an important need. It notes that the nation at large needs to better document, collect and celebrate evidence of the achievements and history of women. After all, nearly 51 percent of the American population is female. There's no lack of amazing historical women waiting to be recognized. Your list of noteworthy women may be short now. But it's about to get much longer.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/why-congressional-commission-wants-national-womens-history-museum/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is there a call for the museum to be on or near the National Mall?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (19)
  • flemingk-lew
    3/10/2017 - 11:51 a.m.

    If it was by the national mall it would be good for people to come. I say this because the national mall is about history and so is the museum. this way people will be able to learn about our history from 2 places that are close.

  • jacklynt-ste
    3/10/2017 - 01:18 p.m.

    I think having a museum dedicated for women history is almost ruining the idea of equality. Women's history is America's history and I do think this is a good idea if women are still fighting for equality. I believe in America's history I do not believe in separating it so it is women's history and even black history. I do not think it is right.

  • jasmineb1-bur
    3/13/2017 - 12:39 p.m.

    There is a call for the museum to be near the National Mall because the women's history museum would be under the authority of the Smithsonian.

  • khadijan-bur
    3/13/2017 - 09:14 p.m.

    There is a call for the museum to be on or near the national mall because they wanted the museum to reflect diverse experience and view so by putting it by a national mall more people will have seen it and more people will visit it which is what they wanted,to have experience and view,and the more people that see it more people learn more information.

    This article relates to me because as a female we are discredited for the work that we do and men feel as if they are better than us and better hard workers as if we cant work just as hard.

  • kateb-smi1
    3/17/2017 - 01:55 p.m.

    The museum should be put near the National Mall because it is a important part of our history and the history of women is even more important. Also, the mall is a hit tourist attraction so, the new museum would drawl lots of attention.

  • iveyk-ver
    3/17/2017 - 02:34 p.m.

    I think that women should have a history museum because not many people may know about all the things that happened and could be a good learning source. There has been many inspirational women that we may not know about and there accomplishments. It says in the article,"It notes that the nation at large needs to better document, collect and celebrate evidence of the achievements and history of women." This report has shown how if we don't represent and show history people may forget about it. I also believe that a museum like this may inspire people and get them to leave that they dreams may come true and that they should chase there dreams and not be afraid to.

  • tyanar-bur
    3/27/2017 - 02:07 p.m.

    The reason why here is a call for the Museum to be on or near the national mall, is mainly because in he article, it says "
    "that the museum be under the authority of the Smithsonian museum".I also think that they could maybe wan people to notice the museum more.The National Museum is a very popular tourist attraction, so when people see the museum they'll want to check it out.

  • tiffanyh-ste
    4/20/2017 - 12:35 p.m.

    Women aren't spoken of a lot in historical events. So I think it would be important to have the museum close to where most of the events took place.

  • Jacoby-pla
    2/04/2021 - 03:00 p.m.

    The main idea of the article is to announce the plans of the first American Women history museum. American Women have been important to the development of many ideas and plans for our society; however, many Americans have failed to acknowledge their achievements due to the lack of public learning. Because of this, a bipartisan commission has devoted roughly 18 months to study and create a new plan to build a museum of the history of American Women and their accomplishments.

    One issue with the idea of a new museum is that it needs support from not only the U.S council but also the people. I can connect this to "Civil engagement" because the plans require the responsibility of the American citizen to speak out of the importance of the museum. To make this possible, the plan will need voting, good communication, and an engaged community to be excited and willing to support the construction. Without these factors, the history and greatness of these women will continue to be stuck in the dark.

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