International Association of Women's Museums

In 2000-2001, Pauline Cockrill, who was then curator of the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame in Alice Springs, was that year’s recipient of the Northern Territory Government’s Women’s Fellowship. She spent three months overseas studying the history, management and organisation of real and virtual women’s museums, identifying around 40 women’s museums around the world, dedicated to women’s cultural history or art. Pauline Cockrill described women’s museums as growing out of the international women’s movement of the late 1960s and developing in order to bring women’s history out of the shadows.

The collaboration “womeninmuseum”/Network of Women’s Museums was created at this first Congress, a loose union of women’s museums and initiatives dedicated to women which defined their common objectives as: increasing the visibility and acceptance of women’s museums; actively supporting each other; and making use of an internet platform in order to push ahead the work of the network.

The fourth international congress of women’s museums was held in Alice Springs, hosted by the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame. At this fourth congress, representatives decided on a name for the international association, the International Association of Women’s Museums, 

The International Association of Women’s Museums has been established as a non-profit association, with its registered seat in Bonn, Germany. Its purpose is to promote “culture, arts, education and training from a female perspective” and it undertakes to realise these objectives “by research and development of projects, exhibitions, new initiatives, community activities, seminars and conferences”.

The ethos of the International Association of Women’s Museums includes actively supporting a global network of women’s museums; encouraging female solidarity; promoting gender-democratic societies; and strengthening the acceptance of women’s museums worldwide.

For more information, visit the International Association of Women’s Museums webpage at