International Museum of Women Presents MAMA: Motherhood Around the Globe

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New Online Exhibition to Showcase More than 200 Original Works From More than 60 Countries Reflecting the Stories, Visions and Voices of Motherhood Worldwide - Global Maternal Health Advocate & Founder of Every Mother Counts Christy Turlington Burns Partners With Exhibition and Presents Online Visitor Pledge For Maternal Health Rights

"Little Burden:" A mother in China carries her child on her back. Credit: Syed Javaid A. Kazai / IMOW

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The International Museum of Women (IMOW) today opened its 2012 global online exhibition MAMA: Motherhood Around the Globe, which explores emerging issues, unique challenges, and changing perspectives of motherhood throughout the world. The newly launched exhibition can be found at or directly at and expects to attract more than 100,000 visitors over the next nine months. The exhibition will showcase original creative works, including art, film, music, photography, essays and interviews, reflecting the stories, visions and voices of motherhood from more than 60 countries—with more than 200 works to be rolled out by September 2012.

The exhibition aims to inspire a global conversation about mothers’ lives and rights in the 21st century and to boost awareness on issues such as improving maternal health worldwide. According to the United Nations (2010), a woman dies every 90 seconds from preventable causes during pregnancy and birth. As part of the exhibition, global maternal health advocate and founder of Every Mother Counts, Christy Turlington Burns, has joined the Museum to present an online visitor pledge for maternal health rights. With a goal of 10,000 signatures, the pledge will be delivered to governments and policy makers, culminating with a special presentation in conjunction with the UN General Assembly in September 2012.

“Our MAMA exhibition presents a unique snapshot of mothers today. It is one of the most profound, insightful, and poignant expressions of motherhood ever assembled in one place online,” said IMOW Executive Director Clare Winterton. “Visitors will experience the joys, creativity and leadership of mothers from around the world. They will also get a unique insight into the challenges today’s mothers face on issues from health to balancing work and family, as well as into too often taboo subjects including miscarriage, infertility and the choice not to have children.”

“As a mother, a global maternal health advocate and founder of Every Mother Counts, I’m thrilled to support the MAMA exhibition,” said Christy Turlington Burns. “The diverse stories by mothers from all over the world are an inspiring way to educate the public about maternal health issues, and I encourage people to visit the website to take part in a global conversation on the challenges and possibilities facing mothers today.”

The exhibition features a wide range of powerful contributions with visitors invited to share deeply personal experiences of motherhood from around the world: a Colombian woman gives birth amid an inadequate medical environment; a Nigerian woman talks about the impact of infertility on her marriage; an artist shares wooden sculptures, which symbolically portray what it is like to go through a painful miscarriage; and an embroidered art piece educates the world on what not to say to women who choose not to be mothers.

The exhibition, which will be featured online through September 2012, will feature eight galleries on different topics to be rolled out monthly. Each gallery will focus on a different dimension of contemporary motherhood and will include a remarkable body of work including videos, multimedia art, ideas for the future from global thought leaders, a short story collection, and profiles of heroes who work to improve the lives of mothers and children.

The eight galleries include:

Mama to Be? : Who Decides If, How, And When A Woman Has A Child?
(Launching on January 24th)

Healthy Mama, Healthy Baby: What Are The Realities Of 21st Century Pregnancy And Childbirth?

Mama’s Work: How Do Women Around The Globe Juggle Work And Motherhood?

Mama in Many Ways: How Is The Role Of “Mother” Evolving?

Mama Then and Now: How Do The Experiences Of Mothers, Grandmothers, And Daughters Compare?

Mama and Me: How Do Mothers’ Identities Shift And Change?

Papa: What Is The Changing Role Of The Modern Dad?

Mama Power: What Kind Of Power Do Mothers Wield?

The International Museum of Women is an innovative online museum that inspires creativity, awareness and action on vital global issues for women. For more information on IMOW, go to

For more information on Every Mother Counts, please visit

The International Museum of Women and Every Mother Counts online visitor pledge can be found at

MAMA: MOTHERHOOD AROUND THE GLOBE is made possible by generous grants from Google and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and in-kind media support from BabyCenter.

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Tiffany Woolf

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