As we’re getting closer to International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate what the occasion is really about – recognising incredible women that changed the course of history and were invisible for many years, supporting women on their projects and businesses, opening spaces to discuss female issues, getting together to celebrate everything we’ve achieved so far and to think about how much we still have to fight for to achieve equality worldwide.
Safe spaces created for women to share and connect with others are becoming more common all over the world. They offer the opportunity for women to think about what it means to be female in their countries and to come together to demand political and behavioural change. And we all know, when women come together, incredible things happen!
So, we’ve put together a list of amazing places that celebrate the lives of women. From London to Beirut, we’ve selected museums, galleries, libraries and cultural events that are changing perceptions in their countries. Get ready to add them to your list of travel dreams.
To all the adventurous, creative, strong and courageous women out there, keep inspiring, defying and exploring. We hope you enjoy our list.
1 – Get to know yourself at the Vagina Museum in London
Vaginas, vaginas everywhere! This is the world’s FIRST museum dedicated to vaginas, vulvas and the gynaecological anatomy, which sounds totally crazy when we think that more than 50% of the world’s population has them, right? We know! This museum’s goal is for no one to be ashamed about their bodies, so we can all work together to build a society that is free and equal. Feeling inspired? Well, be quick and visit this amazing museum before it temporarily closes in March 2020. If you can’t get to London in March, don’t worry. They’re working on opening a permanent collection, plus we can guarantee you London has MANY other incredible places to visit that empower women for you to explore. Visit the Feminist Library, the bookshop Like a Woman that only sells books written by women or watch incredible films at the London Feminist Film Festival!
- Address: Unit 17&18, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road
- Opening times: Mon – Sat 10am -6pm and Sunday 11am-6pm
- Price: Free
2 – Rethink history at the Museum of Women’s History in Stockholm
We’ve all had that feeling when visiting a museum that most of what is displayed is related to the role of men in our history. This museum is trying to challenge this, exploring our past by highlighting all the amazing things women have done. It’s a place for us to think and discuss the perceptions of gender, power, identity and history. As it would be impossible to fit everything in just one fixed location (as women have done so much incredible stuff), this museum works as a “moving consciousness”, offering workshops, exhibitions and collaborations with other museums. Have a look on their website before visiting to check if there are any cool events happening when you’re visiting Stockholm.
For most of 2020, the museum has a super empowering exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in Sweden, so plan your visit so you don’t miss out.
- Address: Väven, Storgatan 46a, 901 78 Umeå
- Opening times: Mon – Wed 11am – 6pm, Thursday 11am – 7:30pm, Friday 11am – 6pm and Saturday 11am to 4pm
- Price: Free
3 – Support the LGBTQ community by visiting the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York, USA
This inspirational place was founded in 1975 with the aim of collecting and preserving records of lesbian lives for future generations, as through history this community has had the right to express their own narratives denied. The Lesbian Herstory Archives features the world’s largest collection of material made by and about lesbians and their communities. You can visit the archive and explore books, videos and photos, and also take part in a tour if you want to get to know more.
This place is entirely run by volunteers and interns and they host loads of interesting events, like talks, marathon poetry reading and an annual Valentine’s Day event.
- Address: 484 14th St. in Park Slope, Brooklyn
- Opening times: Check their calendar
- Price: Free
4 – Dive into Brazilian history at Cora Coralina House in Goias, Brazil
Cora Coralina is one of the most important names in Brazilian literature and her poetry is so beautiful that you won’t believe it was only recognised when she was 76 years old. Even though she never had a book published before her seventies, she spent her life writing about women’s issues, poverty and the mythology of Afro-Brazilian rituals.
The house where she was born was built in 1770 and nowadays is home to a wonderful museum where you can learn more about Coralina’s life and read her incredible poems. If you’re looking for places to visit that empower women while you’re in Brazil, this should be at the top of your list!
- Address: Rua Dom Cândido, 20, Centro
- Opening times: Tus – Sat 9am – 4:45pm and Sunday and Public Holidays 9am – 1pm
- Price: R$10
5 – Get inspired by the astonishing work of Frida Kahlo in Mexico City, Mexico
Casa Azul, AKA The Blue House, was the place where Frida Kahlo was born, lived and died. Nowadays it’s a space dedicated to her life and work as one of the most important Latin American artists of all time. Here you can explore not only her paintings but also jewellery, photos and other objects from her personal life. Backpackers who’ve visited before say you can feel Frida’s spirit through her art and the connection she had with the house. It’s a must when visiting Mexico City!
You can visit the museum, book a guided tour and even watch a live performance by a Mexican actress representing Frida and her life in the house.
- Address: Londres 247, Colonia del Carmen, Delegación Coyoacán
- Opening times: Tuesday 10am – 5:30pm, Wednesday 11am -5:30pm and Thu-Sun 10am to 5pm
- Price: $ 230.00 on weekdays and $ 270.00 on weekends
6- Support India’s first (and only) female stand-up show in Mumbai
Femapalooza is a stand-up comedy show made by women for women in Mumbai. It’s a safe space for Indian comedians to talk about how it is to be a woman in the country, connect with others and have loads of fun, of course. Only women are allowed to the shows, so the comedians can feel totally free to express themselves and talk about relatable concerns women in the audience might have. This event is revolutionising the stand-up comedy scene in India and it’s a great opportunity for you to mingle with the locals and have a wholesome night with Indian women.
They don’t have a website for the project and the event happens in different locations. Google “Femapalooza” before you visit India to see if an event will be happening during your trip.Find a hostel in India
7- Learn about African indigenous history at The Women’s History Museum in Zambia
This museum is an incredible and unique initiative created to document and revive African women’s history in Zambia. It’s the first museum in the country focusing on telling women’s history, so they’ve gathered lots of audio samples, videos and photos to properly document centuries of knowledge. You can find their collection online, but be sure to keep an eye out for their coming exhibitions around Zambia and other countries in Africa, as they don’t have their own permanent physical space just yet. The aim is for the museum to soon be housed in the Lusaka National Museum.Find a hostel in Zambia
8- Read all the books at the Feminist Library in Beirut, Lebanon
Feminist Books by @hemostinept
In Lebanon, most feminist books are found in homes or private universities and locals don’t easily have access to them. Thankfully, The Feminist Library opened its doors in Beirut and has become a hub of feminist knowledge accessible to anyone interested in reading empowering fiction, autobiography, sexuality, spirituality, history and activism texts. They’re also gathering an interesting collection of books about queer women of colour to make sure everyone is represented. If you have a feminist book you’ve finished during your trip, you can donate it to make their collection even bigger. This one of the best places to visit that empower women, as it’s providing access to feminism in the country.
- Address: Antoine Farah Building, 3rd floor, Montazah Street, Furn El Chebbak
- Price: Free
9 – Get inspired at The National Museum of Women in The Arts, Washington, US
This is the only major museum IN THE WORLD dedicated to art created by women. Since they opened in 1987, they’ve gathered more than four thousand pieces of art including photography, painting, sculpture and video from artists from all over the world. They also host lectures, gallery talks, workshops, films, concerts and performances. It’s the perfect place for a women’s art history class and you’ll feel empowered after learning about what these amazing creative women achieved.
- Address: corner of New York Avenue and 13th Street
- Opening times: Mon – Sat 10am to 5pm and Sunday 12pm to 5pm
- Price: $10.00
10 – Mingle with the locals at FAG Feminist Art Gallery in Toronto
The mission of this gallery founded in 2010 is to grow sustainable feminist and queer art and to offer a space for exhibitions and other opportunities to emerging artists. They host really cool events in partnership with museums, universities and other galleries, offering a space for people to discuss feminism and art. Check their Facebook page for upcoming events and visit the gallery to support the work of amazing local artists.
- Address: 25 Seaforth, M6K 1N4
- Opening times: Check the Facebook page for events
- Price: Free
We hope we’ve inspired you to go out and explore the world, supporting women and getting to know more about our history along the way! Do you know any other interesting places women should visit that aren’t on the list? Let us know the comments!
Credits for cover photo: henna_speaks