The Museum of Women´s History is unique. In an area covering 700 square metres, we discuss issues of gender and power, identity and history.
Often, when we look for women in history, all we find are spaces and gaps, blank spots and a resounding silence. Women as a group - half of the current and historic population of Sweden - compared with men as a group are poorly represented in traditional historiography.
At most times and in most place, women have been excluded from the social arenas that have existed. This is why women have produced fewer important inventions, been on fewer daring voyages of discovery, painted fewer masterpieces, built fewer houses and written fewer books.
Of course, a few women do appear in traditional historiography. But most of the knowledge, skills, interests, activities and memories of various women have been considered to be unimportant, less interesting, less worthy of documenting and preserving - and have therefore been excluded.
Some historians have referred to traditional history as "male genealogy". A chronological account of wars and politics, economics and ideas that, like a well-worn path, has been shaped by descriptions of a long series of men´s deeds.
This museum breaks the silence that has been woven around women in history. Both complementing and resisting traditional historiography, and recounting the past in a way that provides an arena for voices other than those previously heard the most.
Gender and power - one of the biggest democratic problems of our time
Women have not had the same power and opportunities as men did in the past. To shape society or their own lives. Nor do we see them having such power and opportunities today. This is one of the biggest democratic problems of our time - nationally and globally.
The Museum of Women´s History wants to be involved in discussing what society should be like in the future and how an equal distribution of opportunities, power and influence between women and men might be achieved.
The Museum of Women´s history aims to:
AnnaSara Hammar, Historian Umeå universitet