Receipt for Slave Girl, Cuneiform tablet

  This small clay tablet is a receipt written in an ancient text called cuneiform. These wedge-shaped characters were used in the first writing systems in the world. In particular, this one is from the time of Cambyses II, ruler of Babylon. It is a receipt for the sale of a slave girl. Slavery was normal in the Ancient world. While it may have been an accepted system then, this does not make it any more right than it would be today. Girls were bought and sold as slaves by the thousands for several purposes, like domestic workers and concubines. They were also acquired to become the...

read more

Letter from the Editor IV

Dear Reader, You have heard it many times before—the flapping wings of a butterfly can cause a storm on the other side of the world. The butterfly effect applies to so many phenomena, we hardly ever notice it. Yet just a week ago, we all felt it as the tide of change swept across the globe, affecting everything in its path. The US inauguration altered everyone’s lives and the planet’s future. The slashing of important scientific funds, the global impact of anti-abortion rules, downgrading healthcare, banning immigration; all this will have an impact people greater than we can imagine. It...

read more

Letter from The Editor III

Dear Reader, The year 2017 brings many changes into our world – some of them give us hope to see long-awaited goals achieved, some make us fear where 2017 may lead. But for most girls, their lives will not change over night. Although new legislations bring an end to archaic conditions in some places, the overall educational situation of girls and young women in general is still alarming. And education, in fact, is everything: ending FGM by educating men and women alike about health risks, raising the female student figures at Tokyo’s elite university, demanding a young Muslim girl to take...

read more

Letter from the Editor II

Dear Reader, Only a few hours from now, we will be wishing a happy and healthy new year to neighbors and loved ones, colleagues and strangers. By health, we often mean the absence of things such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, the disorders that come with old age. Hardly anyone would include the access to sanitary pads or admitting menstruating women to the dinner table into our concept of health. But having or not having their period is a life and death situation for many girls and women around the globe. This issue gathers stories on the topic of female health. The clinical...

read more

2016: A Post Mortem

For girls, 2016 has been a fairly typical year. A year characterized by suicides, kidnappings, rapes, systemic abuse, and cyber-bullying. But there have been good moments as well: the amazing girls at the Olympics, Isabella Springmühl Tejada’s premiere at London Fashion Week, and Marley Dias’s campaign for more diversity in school reading lists with 1000 #BlackGirlBooks. On the balance, though, every year since we started Girl Museum there seem to be more atrocities committed towards girls. However, there is also more awareness and strength in response. Our takeaways from this year would...

read more

Letter from the Editor I

Dear Reader, Girlhood worldwide is not a self-defining concept. Instead, being a girl almost always means playing a role chosen by others. To be a girl too often results in trying to ‘fit in’. This starts with staying silent. It can eventually result in giving your life to those in power. This issue gathers stories of girls that had to ‘fit in’ to societies that defined life for them. Like the over-achiever at school, the child bride refugee, and the two young girls sent to their death as suicide bombers for Boko Haram in Nigeria. Others speak for these girls, but we want to hear their...

read more

Small consolations

While many of us are still reeling from the unthinkable outcome of the US general election, it is vital not miss a moment sulking and keep fighting. The struggle against misogyny, ignorance and hate is still the same and will now be even harder. ‘How could this have happened?’ many are asking themselves today. It is small consolation that only half the voting public turned up. So only 25% of Americans made this choice, hardly a mandate. Yet the result remains regardless of how or why. Americans must take stock. Is this who we are? If so, then we need to work on that basis to change what is...

read more

Inclusion, context and the learning curve

On 28 June 2016, 41 people were killed and hundreds wounded in a terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. In mid July, there was an attempted coup in Turkey. Under the shadow of these events, I attended an international women’s museums conference in Istanbul in late October. It was a first-of-its-kind gathering and women from all over the world came to speak. We were quite excited, nervous and enthusiastic about what we could contribute. However, quickly we realized that understanding context was as important as creating outcomes. The conference concept was how...

read more

Memories of Girlhood: Life Lessons from Kato

There is a stretch of road in my hometown that used to be a dense forest which is now lined with hideous townhouses. Whenever I go by there, I am transported back to being 6 years old. It was in this hundred acre wood that I discovered what it was to discover, to be aware of learning new things and be awed by nature. There was a lone cottage, with horses, dogs, cats, bunnies, and more–all sharing this place with a girl and her parents. She was my best friend, with a name like a ninja—KATO. Kato was one of those magical friends who was larger than life, my life certainly. Two years older with...

read more

New Year’s Day Thoughts

Reflecting on the year just gone and planning for the year ahead seems a standard New Year’s task. When I started Girl Museum in 2009, I had no idea what I was doing or the enormous commitment it would be. That isn’t true really. I have worked in nonprofits my entire life and know exactly the hard work it takes, but the part about not knowing what I was doing is true. Coming up on five years later, I can safely say I know so much more about the museum industry, virtual museums, making websites, girl studies, and girl advocacy and just a little bit about how to run a business. It seems the...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest