Majority of Americans admit they need help brushing up on their women’s history; notable men more recognizable over female counterparts.
December 28, 2015
Melissa Williams, 703-461-1920
WASHINGTON, DC – A recent survey of more than 1,000 Americans reveal that the vast majority of us are more familiar with our nation’s heroes, than our heroines. Commissioned by the National Women’s History Museum, the survey results indicate that less than one in four Americans can name the accomplishments of Elizabeth Blackwell, Ida B. Wells or Sybil Ludington, whereas more than three quarters of respondents are familiar with the achievements of Neil Armstrong, Frederick Douglass and Paul Revere.
- The survey further revealed that more Americans feel more knowledgeable about sports and celebrity gossip than women’s history.
- Less than 1 percent of Americans know how many women currently serve in Congress or how many women are currently a CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
- Only a third of millennials believe they are knowledgeable about women’s history, and just 10 percent of adults over age 55 feel the same way.
“Three-quarters of the people that the Museum surveyed feel that today’s museums are overlooking women’s contributions,” said Susan Whiting, Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Women’s History Museum and a longtime C-suite executive. “We know that there are many untold examples of women’s contribution to our American history, and the Museum will serve as a vital center to gather and illuminate those powerful stories. Time and again, research has proven that female role models – heroines – are powerful motivators in women’s personal and professional lives.”
Ms. Whiting’s lineage traces back to Susan B. Anthony, a cousin on her mother’s side, who was a national icon in the woman suffrage movement.
More than 80 percent of the people the Museum surveyed feel it is important to build a women’s history museum to communicate the breadth of women’s experiences and accomplishments. Once built, the Museum will be the first in the nation to show the full scope of the history of women, and will set the standard for how women’s contributions should occupy a prominent place in national discussions.
“I invite you to help the Museum at this critical point in their journey by simply emailing or writing your Member of Congress, and saying ‘I want a National Women’s History Museum,’” said Ms. Whiting. “Share the survey results with your Member of Congress and tell them that you want to see a National Women’s History Museum on or near the National Mall. You can do this through our website – www.americasheroines.org.”
Earlier this year, Congress appointed an 8-person Commission to study the potential cost, impact and location of the Museum. The Commission, the first of its kind to be privately funded, is seeking public input on a national women’s history museum and will release its findings to legislators in the next 12 months.
About the National Women’s History Museum
Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM, Inc.) is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the diverse historic contributions of women and raising awareness about the critical need for a national women’s history museum in our nation’s capital. Currently located online at www.nwhm.org, the Museum’s goal is to build a world-class, permanent museum on or near the National Mall that will herald and display the collective history of American women. A Congressional Commission has been established that is charged with producing a feasible plan, which would include the governance, fundraising, location and organizational structure of the museum. For additional information visit NWHM.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Survey
The data points referenced above come from a study commissioned by the National Women’s History Museum, conducted by research firm Edelman Berland as an online survey of n=1,001 adults nationwide, ages 18+. Interviewing took place from August 5-10, 2015. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent.