International Museum of Women creates online exhibits celebrating women year-round

LatinaLista — In 1997, the International Museum of Women (IMOW) was founded on the premise that it would be a museum that inspired visitors with “powerful ideas” and “new ways of thinking that transform women’s lives and the world.”

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Since then, the museum has hosted a number of exhibits that fulfilled that mission. Yet, as with every museum, only a limited number of people see exhibits. In its mission to reach an international audience and connect people across borders, the IMOW launched in 2006 the first of its interactive, multi-lingual online exhibitions.

The latest IMOW online exhibit, Economica: Women and the Global Economy, opened in October 2009 and highlights women of various countries and their contributions to their local and global economy.

Exploring a timely topic through a much-needed gender lens, Economica illuminates women’s diverse experiences and contributions to the global economy.

Slideshows, podcasts and online discussion forums form the heart of the online exhibit but online curators also accept viewer submissions as well, ranging from photography to personal and creative narratives.

As another way to make the IMOW truly interactive and responsive to women, the museum just launched “Women on the Map.”

Designed as a way for women to honor those women in their lives who made an impact, the site allows visitors to name up to three women, as often as they want, to have their names included on the world map.

After typing in their names, geographic location and an optional short message, the site uploads the information and places a pin on the map designating the woman (women) being honored.

When people click on a pin, the name of the woman and the city she lives in pops up and everyone can read why that woman is so important to someone else.

Women featured in the latest exhibit are also included on the map with their personal stories or photo slideshows.

All in all, the IMOW shows that highlighting the achievements of women doesn’t just have to be during the month of March — but year-round.

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