Want to discover Denmark differently, by meeting women who made History?
Located in Aarhus, the second city of the country, the Women’s museum will be a must-go place in your trip.
It’s one of the few museums dedicated specifically to women. According to the inventory by the international association of women’s museums (IAWM), there are less than 70 women’s museums in the world.
Denmark Women’s museum has been open since 1984 and is located in Aarhus former city hall. It takes you on a discovery journey through the living and working conditions of women in Denmark, over the course of history and the fight their rights.
Gender, a social construction
The museum is a great introduction to a reflexion on gender, equality, body image and sexuality. If you’re looking for a way to raise awareness in your trip companions or your children, this is the perfect place.
During your visit, you’ll be able to visit the permanent exhibition “Gender blender”, a pleasant and easy approach to gender inequality and to the clichés it’s build on. Everything has been thought to steer the interest of children. You will also learn a lot about the past and current feminist and LGBT movements in Denmark.
Conquering their rights
You will be taken through the greatest memories of feminist movement in the galleries dedicated to the history of the women’s rights fight.
The building hosting the museum, the former city hall, has been conserved as it was in 1909, when Dagmar Pedersen was the only woman member of the city council.
You will learn that Danish women won the right to vote in local elections in 1909 and in national one in 1915. Women represented 10% of the Danish Parliament until the 50s. In 2017, 37% of its members were women.
You will also discover that, as in most European countries, after the first wave of feminism that fought for voting rights, a second wave mobilized in the 70s on the issues of body image, sexuality and reproductive rights. That was the era of the Rodstromper movement (literally “the red stockings”), that organized every year a women-only feminist summer camp. These camps still takes place today: discover the Kvindelejren.
Mathilde Fibiger was only 19 when she wrote “Clara Raphael”, an epistolary series on the inferior status women had compared to men. When it was published in 1850, it spurred outrage and launched the conversation about women’s place in the Danish society. It was the spark that ignited the first wave of feminism in the country.
Women rights in Denmark in 7 dates:
1850: publication of Mathilde Fibigier‘s “Clara Raphaël”
1871: foundation of the Danish Women’s society by Mathilde and Frederik Bayer
1886: member of Parliament Frederik Bayer submits for the first time ever a law to give women the right to vote
1908: women have the right to vote in local elections
1915: women have the right to vote in national elections
1922: Nina Bang is appointed Minister for Education minister. She’s the first female minister
2011: Helle Thorning-Schmidt becomes the first woman Prime minister of Denmark
Kvindemuseet, Domkirkepladsen 5, Aarhus, Danemark
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am – 5:00pm; Wednesday 10am – 8pm; Sunday 10am – 4pm
If you come with your kid(s), the small children museum on the first floor does a great job at putting them in Danish child from the 19th century’s shoes – costume included!
The Women’s museum also regularly hosts exhibitions of contemporary women artists. Currently, you can “Venus Envy”, by Australian artist Deborah Kelly.
After your visit, continue to celebrate women’s heritage by chilling in the Mathilde Fibigier garden, on the right when you exit the museum!