by Caroline Johnston
Graphhic by Luke Theodossy
On February 11, 2020, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill (374-37) to establish a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, District of Columbia. The bill advanced to the Senate, and if it passes and the President signs it, the Government will build a museum on the National Mall, standing alongside many other historic monuments and museums. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has been advocating for a National Women’s History Museum since 1998, and sponsored the relevant bill.
Carolyn Maloney worked for 16 years to set up a Congressional Commission to study the need for a National Women’s History Museum. In 2016, the Congressional Commission submitted its report to Congress before the House finally voted to establish a National Women’s History Museum in 2020.
Congresswoman Maloney said, “the US needs and deserves a comprehensive women’s history museum that will inspire men and women of all ages and for future generations… For too long, women who have made extraordinary contributions to our nation have been left out of the telling of our history. We can, and we must, change that.”
The museum hopes to include a “diverse range of viewpoints, experiences, and backgrounds,” in order to “accurately depict the history of the United States.” Junior Portia Sasser believes that the museum should include information about women’s involvement during times of war, especially about how women would disguise themselves as men so that they could participate in combat. Junior Olivia Plaza also believes that women in war should be included, with a focus on how women took over men’s jobs while they were away at war, which helped keep the United State’s economy stable.
Even if the bill passes, however, the museum will likely not open for at least another ten years because of how long it will take to construct the building, compile all of the information and create the exhibits.