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 significant women can you name? No matter what your gender identity, 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 if a congressional panel has anything to do with it, that could soon change. 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. These were conducted by a bipartisan commission. The commission was tasked with studying the prospect of a national women's history museum. Among its conclusions were strong support for a museum that celebrates American women's history and achievements. It included a recommendation that the museum reflect diverse experiences and views. There was a plea for public and private financial support and insistence that the museum not only be under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, but have a place on or close to the National Mall.
"The first step to creating a national women's history museum is complete," said Maloney in a release. "We have an achievable plan to build this museum." It would "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 fraught 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 devoted to improving representation of the contributions of Latinos to American history and culture has been successful. In the 1990s, as The New York Times' Kate Taylor reported, a similar panel recommended not just a museum, but an effort to correct an imbalance in the Smithsonian's coverage of Latino culture. Such a museum does not yet exist. But the Institution has focused instead on hiring more curators. It has staged Latino-centric exhibitions and beefed up 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 the need for the nation at large 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 acknowledged. Your list of noteworthy women may be short now. But it's about to get much longer.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween78/why-congressional-commission-wants-national-womens-history-museum/

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

  • taylorp-pel
    3/09/2017 - 02:16 p.m.

    They are both very important museums.

  • yvonneh-pel
    3/09/2017 - 02:28 p.m.

    So when people go pass the National Mall they can see the museum.

  • marisoll-pel
    3/09/2017 - 02:32 p.m.

    There is a call for museum to be there because they are two important monuments .

  • zanderd-pel
    3/09/2017 - 02:32 p.m.

    A call for the museaum to be close to the nation mall it could bring pictrues into balance

  • andrewp-pel
    3/09/2017 - 02:36 p.m.

    They wanted a mall that close to a museum

  • adrianas1999
    3/09/2017 - 02:53 p.m.

    They want the museum there because is a public place and a lot of people go there and it will bring the people's attention.

  • felixg-pel
    3/13/2017 - 08:50 p.m.

    The museum and the mall are national monuments so they wanted the museum with the mall.

  • vcara-dav
    3/14/2017 - 06:49 p.m.

    In response to "Why A Congressional Commission Wants A National Women's History Museum," I agree that a women's national history museum should be created. One reason I agree is that the achievements of women in history, and famous historical women in general, and not as known as men and their achievements.

    Another reason is the fact that if younger girls go to museums like that they could be inspired and start believing they can do whatever boys can and more. It says in the article, "How many historically significant women can you name? No matter what your gender identity, it's likely that the number you can list pales in comparison to that of noteworthy men." This further proves my first point. Even though it might be rather expensive, and it could bring tension, I think further education and highlighting historical women's achievements is worth it.

  • ybailey-dav
    3/20/2017 - 04:50 p.m.

    In response to the article "why a congressional commission wants a national women's history museum" I firmly agree a national women's history museum should be emplaced. One important reason is it just shows respect and honor to the women who have been an empowering figure. Another reason is it shows young, influential girls that they can make huge differences and they can make changes like thee women. It helps them have a leader for themselves. In the text it also says "There's no lack of amazing historical women waiting to acknowledged." That just shows that if there is so many women needed to be acknowledged then we need people to see them and be inspired. My final reason is that this ,museum could help further women into earning equal rights because right now they are not all that equal.

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