International Museum of Women Launches New Online Exhibition: Economica: Women and the Global Economy

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Launching on Saturday, October 17, 2009, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the International Museum of Women's new online exhibition, Economica: Women and the Global Economy, explores how women are making a difference to economies around the world. Not only are women shouldering more of the burden in the current crisis, but they are also developing bold new ideas that could redefine how economies will work in the future. Economica crosses international barriers to connect online visitors to inspiring stories of women are harnessing their economic power to transform their lives, families, and communities.

Economica paints a powerful new picture of the world economy at a pivotal time for women and girls

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The International Museum of Women (I.M.O.W.), an award-winning social change museum, launches its new global online exhibition, Economica: Women and the Global Economy, on October 17, 2009, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Economica is a vivid and timely online exploration of women's global economic participation featuring powerful voices, visions, and images that cover a range of topics--from business leadership and philanthropy to microenterprise and grassroots solutions. Economica shows that while women are uniquely impacted by economic volatility, they are also equipped to offer new economic ideas and solutions.

Economica features provocative opinion pieces exploring how the globalized economy and current financial crisis are affecting women's lives, bringing women's voices and new visions to the forefront of the debate and discussion. Essays by prominent women such as Irene Natividad, Global Summit of Women president, on why investment in women is crucial to global economic recovery; Zainab Salbi, Women for Women International CEO, on why we need to create bigger and broader opportunities for women; and Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, on why we must put human rights at the center of a new economic model, are showcased. These stories are designed to spark a conversation about women's economic experiences that have never been more pressing than now, in this era of global financial crisis and opportunity.

At the heart of the Economica exhibition is a series of evocative multimedia slide shows that tell stories of women's experiences in several countries--from Morocco to Qatar and China to the United States. These powerful visual presentations provide entry points for examining different economic systems and values. They are paired with companion content that provides context, depth, and opportunities for visitors to take action. Economica's larger themes include:

Business Leadership: To those in the West, the phrase 'Arab Women' often conjures up images of women cloaked in long, covering garments, restricted in their movements and constrained in their freedoms. See how Arab women of Qatar are changing the face of business.

Basic Rights: How do families get by when there's not enough? It's usually women who go without. This theme explores what roles governments play in providing basic necessities for their people, focusing on the aftermath of the recent bread crisis in Egypt.

Family and Fertility: Women's opportunities and choices have long been impacted by their ability to bear children. Delve into "womb economics" in China and other matters of family, fertility and finance.

Microenterprise: Microcredit and microfinance have become hugely popular tools for women's economic empowerment. Travel with us to Bolivia, where we consider whether microfinance actually alleviates poverty.

Marriage and Money: Single, divorced or widowed, in many parts of the world, a woman's martial status has everything to do with her economic stability. We delve into how transactions related to marriage--from dowry to inheritance--affect women in India, and what should change.

Property and Wealth: In the financial meltdown and subprime lending crisis, many have seen their dream of homeownership evaporate. But women and racial minorities have been hit the hardest, making the longstanding gaps between the rich and poor even wider in the United States.

Grassroots Solutions: In many countries, women are creating economic opportunities through community-based efforts. But these efforts can only be truly transformative if they also provide training and give women a place in larger decision making. Get inspired by women who are organizing to help each other in Morocco.

"Economica paints a powerful new picture of the world economy at a pivotal time for women and girls," says I.M.O.W. Executive Director, Clare Winterton. "Economica explores the economy through women's eyes and shows how everything in economics--from microfinance to philanthropy and GDP--might look different if we asked women for answers."

"The current global economic crisis shows the danger of concentrating decision-making power in only a few hands," notes Dr. Masum Momaya, the curator of Economica. "Too often, decisions are made by experts in boardrooms and on the trading floors of stock exchanges in large cities such as New York, London or Tokyo without concern for their impact on women and families," she adds. "Economica offers many examples of women's experiences in the changing economy, and shows women as economic agents and solution builders."

Economica is an interactive resource that will evolve over time as participants from the museum's online community add their comments and submit their own stories and creative work. Online visitors are invited to participate by joining the conversation in I.M.O.W.'s active online community with members from more than 200 countries. Visitors are encouraged to register, log on, and connect with exhibition themes in the community forum and to submit original essays, film, audio, and artwork.

The International Museum of Women launches Economica: Women and the Global Economy on October 17 to build awareness of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. From October 16-18, 2009, millions of people all around the world will Stand Up and Take Action, taking part in a united action in support of the end of poverty and the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals.

About The International Museum Of Women
The International Museum of Women (I.M.O.W.) is a groundbreaking social change museum that inspires global action, connects people across borders and transforms hearts and minds. The mission of I.M.O.W. is to value the lives of women around the world. Learn more at http://www.imow.org.

I.M.O.W., an innovative 21st century museum, has showcased eight major exhibitions including Women, Power and Politics, one of the most comprehensive online sources of women's political participation worldwide, and the award-winning Imagining Ourselves, A Global Generation of Women.

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Jo Beaton, marketing & communication

Clare Winterton, Executive Director
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