Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project
We are living in unprecedented times indeed. History-making times. Times that challenge, burden, and cause many women to re-think and re-imagine the workings of their daily lives. Sociologists and economists warn us that the COVID-19 pandemic is and will disproportionately affect women’s lives more so than men. Whether it’s picking up additional childcare or domestic duties or giving up work to step in and care for vulnerable family members, women are often at the center of these responsibilities.
Similarly, women across the nation find themselves required to give birth without their support partners; shouldering obligations left by men, who are particularly vulnerable to the contagion; and working around the obstacles of grocery shortages, homeschooling, and social distancing, all while trying to maintain their own mental health.
As America’s national institution for the promotion, interpretation, and celebration of women’s history, the National Women’s History Museum is committed to ensuring that women and girls’ unique voices and experiences are not left out of the telling of the COVID-19 story. To this end, the NWHM is pleased to launch the Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project and is asking women, girls, and gender non-binary individuals to participate in the simple act of recording their daily thoughts and personal experiences during this pandemic in order to document the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on women’s lives.
Every woman and girl’s story is important.
We invite individuals from all ages, backgrounds, cultures, and socio-economic circumstances to be a part of living history by keeping a journal in 30, 60, 90, 120-day, or any longer OR shorter increments, and contributing their journalistic efforts to the National Women’s History Museum. If life gets in the way of a daily, month-long journal, that’s okay! Simply commit to what you can or what you already have. You do not have to journal daily.
Journals can be written, orally recorded, video recorded, a series of photographs, or original artworks—the primary goal of this project is to capture the female voice and how the pandemic has impacted daily lives and perspectives. Journal entries might provide a summary of one’s day, descriptions of the “new normal,” coping techniques, explorations of challenges or even moments of joy, or inside views of how learning and working routines have altered.
We especially invite journaling submissions from essential and healthcare workers, as much as you are able. These frontline experiences are particularly important to understanding the full scope of this pandemic.
The journals will be used as a living archive of women’s lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for online and physical exhibits, articles and stories. This archive will also hold a special place in the future physical site of the National Women’s History Museum. In the meantime, we’ll build and connect a community of support and strength here at WomensHistory.org by sharing excerpts, images, videos, and oral recordings from women across the nation (and world!) who choose to share their experiences with us because we are #AloneTogether in this.
By agreeing to donate your journal, it is understood that the purpose and intent of the gift is to transfer and assign all rights, title, and interest in the journal that you may possess to the National Women's History Museum. A Deed of Gift will be issued to you from the Museum. The NWHM and/or the Museum's collaborative project partner, The New York Times Company, may make discretionary use of the donated materials to include, but not limited to, exhibition, display, publication, digitization for preservation and access purposes, and making materials available for research and future scholarship. The NWHM reserves the right to decline any submission deemed inappropriate for the project.
Ready to Get Involved?
To help us document your experience, please register for the Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project by submitting your participation form. You will receive an email confirmation of your participation in the project. Periodically, the Museum will also send you a check-in message with tips, encouragement, or support. Near the conclusion of your project, instructions will be provided to you on how to submit your journal to the National Women's History Museum.
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about this project.
For now, write, document, photograph, create, or make! And please let others know that you are participating in the Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project and invite them to be join, as well, by answering the question, "I'm participating in the Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project because...," and posting it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn with the Museum's handle @womenshistory and the project hashtag #HistoryIsNow.
We are living through unusual times. It’s important to record our experiences and how we dealt with the many challenges that we faced for posterity. Everyone has a story. Thank you for helping us to share yours.