The National Women’s History Museum Commission Act (S.398) was designed to create a commission for the establishment of a National Women’s History Museum (N) in Washington D.C. Currently, the National Women’s History Museum operates as an online-only institution. Their website, www.nwhm.org, offers educational information, displays online exhibits, provides historical information, performs research and shares ideas for building a physical museum. Their vision is to build a “world-class museum at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. . . . that raises awareness and honors women’s diverse experiences and achievements,” and fosters partnership and understanding between men and women.
Act S.398 would require the development of a plan to create, fund, and establish such a museum to highlight U.S. women’s leadership in many fields – agriculture, medicine, science, religion, philosophy, government, the arts, etc. This bi-partisan legislation was introduced to the United States Senate in February 2013 by Sen. Susan M. Collins [R-ME] with over 28 cosponsors and is currently under committee consideration. A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney [D-NY-12] and passed in May 2014 by a margin of 383 to 33. Representative Maloney urged, “Now is the time to pass legislation that will empower and inspire future generations of women.”
On 12 December 2014, Act S.398 was passed by Congress, and now awaits President Obama’s signature at the White House.
According to NWHM President & CEO, Joan Wages, “Today is a great day for all women! Senate approval of our legislation marks a giant step forward in our efforts to build a national women’s history museum in Washington, D.C. We are forever indebted to Senators Susan Collins and Barbara Mikulski and Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Marsha Blackburn for their tireless efforts in support of this important legislation. The bipartisan nature by which this legislation was introduced and passed serves as testament to women’s ability to set aside differences and come together to work for the common good. It is what women have done throughout history.”
The National Women’s History Museum, founded in 1996, is a nonpartisan, 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the diverse historic contributions of women and raising awareness about the critical need for a national women’s history museum in our nation’s capital.
Learn more at www.nwhm.org.