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MUSEUM International N°236
Gender Perspectives on Cultural Heritage and Museums

Museum236-Large.gifTable of Contents


CHAP 1: Women’s cultural participation and rights

CHAP 2: Women’s approaches to cultural heritage and museums

CHAP 3: Museums for and about women

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Cultures, Conventions and the Human Rights of Women: Examining the Convention for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the Declaration on Cultural Diversity, Valentine Moghadam and Manilee Bagheritari

Women’s rights activists/feminists have long argued that in order to end discrimination against women, there must be agreement that ‘culture’ is not a valid justification for gender inequality. When drafting international conventions and declarations, attention must be directed not only to existing human rights instruments but also to those pertaining to women. This article seeks to explain why there is a need to pay attention to the human rights of women when implementing the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity.  Top

The International Museum of Women, Karen Offen and Elizabeth L. Colton

This article introduces the International Museum of Women (based in San Francisco, California, USA), and discusses its evolution, its current strategies of using virtual technology to reach a global audience, and its commitment to promoting gender equity worldwide and to rendering visible women’s irreplaceable yet often ignored contributions to cultural heritage. Top

The Role of Moroccan Women in Preserving Amazigh Language and Culture, Fatima Sadiqi

Moroccan women have played an essential role in preserving the Amazigh language and culture, a role that has only very recently started to be appreciated fully. The article explores the complex question of, on the one hand, the point where ‘gender’ and ‘language and culture’ meet and, on the other, the relationship between that meeting-point and the general status of women. This is a subject that is still little discussed in Morocco, although the citizenship and status of women are closely tied in with Moroccan languages and their usage. Top

‘Thanks, But We’ll Take It From Here’: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women Influencing the Collection of Tangible and Intangible Heritage, Olivia Robinson and Trish Barnard

This article explores how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are represented in major collections in Queensland, Australia, with a focus on the Queensland Museum and the State Library of Queensland. Pertinent to this analysis is an insight into the role of indigenous and non-indigenous women as collectors and curators. Fostering a feminine environment has empowered indigenous women to express their cultural identity and gender perspectives through art and exhibitions, which has led to a reaffirmation of ownership of cultural heritage, and women’s issues in general. Top

My Journey on the Path of Tangible and Intangible Heritage Preservation, Hongnam Kim

The safeguarding of Korea’s cultural heritage – tangible and intangible – has been a major goal over the past fifteen years for the author. Women museum directors are positioned to herald their own ‘soft power’ approaches to cultural heritage preservation and women’s issues through creative interpretation, presentation of collections, invitations to living artists and performers, and education, research and outreach programs. Hongnam Kim retraces the paths she undertook as an art history professor, museum curator and museum director. Top

Museums, Women and Empowerment in the MENA Countries, Carol Malt

How can museums in the Middle East and North African countries be used to benefit women culturally, educationally, politically, economically and personally? This article describes the activities and means by which many women in the museum profession have begun to use their positions as instruments for societal change. It examines the linking of curatorial activities to feminist issues and the incorporation of women’s perspectives within museum programmes. Top

Why Create a Museum on Women?, Graciela Tejero Coni

This article deals with the reasons why the Museo de la Mujer in Argentina regards itself as an instrument for positive action in the struggle of women against gender oppression. It also examines the inter-relationships between gender, class and ethnicity, conceived from a dialectical point of view. From that perspective, the historical past illuminates the understanding of the patriarchal present and guides future struggles to transform reality. The theoretical ‘critical museology’ framework guides specific museographical practices, while making the Museo a cultural place that entertains while encouraging interaction, learning, and contributions from one’s own experience and memory. Top

The Vietnam Women’s Museum: the Promotion of Women’s Rights, Gender Equality and Gender Issues, Nguyen Thi Tuyet

Gender equality is a matter of sustainable development, reflecting social advancement. As a museum of gender, the Vietnam Women’s Museum has been working to effectively increase gender awareness among the public, and contribute to the promotion of gender equality in Viet Nam. The article examines how the Museum carries out this responsibility and the specific actions it takes to promote gender equality. Top

‘Imagining Ourselves’: Cultural Activism for Women through Technology and New Media, Paula Goldman

This article summarizes the lessons learned by the Imagining Ourselves project, a large-scale initiative of the International Museum of Women that has effectively utilized technology and new media to catalyse positive social change for young women worldwide. It reviews both the challenges and opportunities that the internet presents to museums, as well as specific strategies for engaging global online audiences to think differently – and ultimately take action – on issues and opportunities affecting women around the world.  Top

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