National Women's History Museum

In December 2014 President Obama signed into law legislation authored by Congresswoman Maloney that established a privately-funded commission to prepare a report containing recommendations for establishing and maintaining a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C. The 8-member commission has 18 months to produce the report and submit it to Congress for approval. Members of the commission were appointed by Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.

This bipartisan bill passed the House on May 7, 2014, by a vote of 383 to 33 with support from leaders of both parties, including Speaker John Boehner, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer. It passed despite strong opposition from conservative groups including Heritage ActionSusan B. Anthony ListConcerned Women for Americathe Eagle Forum, and the Family Research Council. Unfortunately, the bill failed to make it through the Senate.

The Senate legislation, introduced by Collins and Mikulski, was cosponsored by 39 Senators, including all 20 women Senators. The legislation was added to a package of Natural Resources bills, which was later attached as a separate title of the National Defense Authorization Act.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the commission and the museum would have no significant impact on federal spending. The bill authorizes the commission to accept and spend monetary gifts and a 501(c)3 organization, National Women’s History Museum, is already raising the funds necessary to fund the commission.

The museums and memorials in our nation’s capital demonstrate what we value.  We have museums dedicated to flight, postage stamps, law enforcement and many other important people and issues of interest, but not to women.  A National Women’s History Museum would provide women, comprising 53% of our population, a long overdue home on our National Mall to honor their many contributions that are the very fabric of our country.

More on National Women's History Museum

Jun 21, 2017 In The News

Momentum for a museum of women’s history on the National Mall is building, with 198 lawmakers signing on to co-sponsor legislation to create it.

That’s a jump from 150 co-sponsors on June 6, a surge in support that is edging closer to a House majority.

“I believe that there’s no reason not to support it,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who introduced the bill. “It helps the country, it helps women, and it’s truly bipartisan.”

Jun 6, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — The movement to establish a new Smithsonian museum dedicated to American women’s history is gaining steam. The bill to create a women’s history museum (HR 19), sponsored by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Ed Royce (R-CA), just passed the 150 cosponsor mark and the Smithsonian Institute is now raising funds for an American Women’s History Initiative. Under the new initiative the Smithsonian will hire new curators, survey its collection and begin to “amplify the voices of women from the past to inform the present and inspire the future.” 

Jan 12, 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

I’m writing to update you on my work toward making the dream of a Smithsonian museum honoring American women’s history a reality.  

Jan 9, 2017 In The News

Leading women from politics, the arts and other fields urged President-elect Donald Trump on Monday to support a new national women’s museum in Washington that would be affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution.

At a meeting in New York to give momentum to the idea, the group cited the report of a bipartisan Congressional commission in November that urged construction of the museum.

Jan 9, 2017 In The News

The time is now for a Smithsonian Museum of American Women’s History on the National Mall in Washington, Rep. Carolyn Maloney said Monday.

“We should be proud to make a strong statement that Americans value women, champion equality and honor the significant contributions of women throughout our history,” the Manhattan Democrat said.

An advocacy group, the Common Good, announced a Change.org petition calling on Congress to authorize construction of the museum.

Dec 1, 2016 In The News

President-elect Donald Trump will face a delicate question after he takes office next year: whether to support building a women’s history museum on the National Mall.

The two main proponents of the bipartisan push, which has been going on for years, both have ties to the real estate mogul.

Nov 21, 2016 In The News

We may soon get an exciting addition to the 19 Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC: An eight-member Congressional panel has laid forth a plan for the American Museum of Women’s History, which would spotlight women's contributions to the country. Its proponents plan to introduce it to Congress wi

Nov 18, 2016 Press Release

NEW YORK – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), lead House sponsor of the bill to create a Congressional Commission to study a national women’s history museum, today was joined on the steps of City Hall with New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James, Councilman Ben Kallos, and women leaders to hail the final bipartisan report from the American Museum of Women's History Congressional Commission. The report recommends the creation of a new Smithsonian Museum for American Women’s History on the National Mall.

Nov 16, 2016 In The News
A Congressional panel Wednesday night said the nation's capital should be home to an American Museum of Women's History. Nearly two years after its creation, the bipartisan American Museum of Women's History Congressional Commission delivered its final report to Congress. All eight members said the museum should be built. The report also suggested making it part of the Smithsonian Institution.
Nov 16, 2016 In The News

A week after the highest of all glass ceilings proved indestructible, a congressional panel finds the country needs a national museum dedicated to showcasing the contributions and experiences of American women.

To be called the American Museum of Women’s History, the institution would open in a new or existing building on or near the Mall and would be operated by the Smithsonian Institution. Private donors would provide the estimated $150 million to $180 million needed for the construction or renovation.

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