Introduction of the National Women’s History Museum Commission Act of 2013by Representative Carolyn B. Maloney
Posted on 2013-02-27
of new york
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to
introduce the National Women's History Museum Commission Act of 2013. I
am proud to be joined in this effort by my friends and colleagues
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, as well
as by Senator Susan Collins.
This bill, with a Senate companion sponsored by Senator Collins, creates a commission to review the feasibility and cost for building a National Women's History Museum (NWHM) on the National Mall.
This commission will be bipartisan, consisting of an eight member body comprised of two members appointed by the Senate Majority Leader, two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, two members appointed by the Minority Speaker of the Senate, and two members appointed by the House of Representatives Minority Leader. The appointees are required to demonstrate proficient knowledge and commitment to the research and study of women's history.
Most importantly, this fiscally responsible bill will not use any taxpayer dollars. The NWHM commission will be entirely financed through private funds.
Women's history is largely missing from textbooks, memorials, museum exhibits and many other venues. Today, more than half a century after she changed our nation's history, Congress is honoring civil rights leader Rosa Parks with a statue in the U.S. Capitol. This is an extraordinary achievement that we should build on. Of the over 200 statues in the Capitol, there are currently only 13 statues depicting women.
Across the country, less than 5 percent of the 2,400 national historic landmarks chronicle women's achievements and according to a survey of 18 history textbooks, only 10% were dedicated to women.
The museums and memorials in our Nation's Capital reflect our country's values. Though we have museums dedicated to other important people and subjects such as flight, postage stamps, and law enforcement, we do not have a museum contributed to women's history.
Despite being half of our population, women's deep and lasting impacts have taken a backseat to the hundreds of years of written and available narrative focusing on men. It is time that women are honored for their many contributions that are the very fabric of our country. This bill would be the first step in achieving that goal.
I urge my colleagues to join me in honoring the women that built this nation by cosponsoring the National Women's History Museum Commission Act.