Meryl Streep and Others Push for a National Women’s History Museum

It took women 72 years to win the right to vote, but advocates are hoping it doesn’t take that long to open a National Women’s History Museum in Washington. The campaign to build the museum began in 1996 and has recently gotten the backing of some Hollywood heavyweights, but the project faces challenges, both financial and political.

“Much of women’s history is still not in our history textbooks, not in our national parks,” said Joan Wages, an advocate for the museum. “If you go to the nation’s Capitol, only 13 of 217 statues are of women leaders.” Wages is on a crusade to bring the museum to the National Mall and has gathered some star-studded support, featured in this month’s Vogue magazine. One of the biggest names is actress Meryl Streep, known for playing strong female characters like the “Iron Lady.” Streep alone has committed $1 million to the effort.

There are logistical and financial challenges along with legislative challenges. Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn have stopped Congressional approval of the museum. Wages argues that women’s history deserves a national platform in Washington, D.C. and she’s working to gain support from the two senators. “It’s very bi-partisan and we’ve worked at that over the years,” Wages said. “Women from both sides of the aisle have done some phenomenal things.”

Watch Meryl Streep explain why she donated her entire salary! (Remarkable story of Deborah Sampson included.)




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