About the East End Women’s Museum


The East End Women’s Museum seeks to record, research, share and celebrate the stories of east London women past and present.

Rachel Crossley, Museum Director, presenting at a symposium (c) Debbie Sears

Rachel Crossley, Museum Director, presenting at a symposium (c) Debbie Sears

It exists because for far too long women have been confined to the margins of history. For instance:

  • Just 2.7% of UK public statues feature historical women who weren't royalty (source).

  • There is just one statue of a named black woman in the entire country (source).

  • Just 13% of English Heritage blue plaques in London honour women (source).

  • According to an English Heritage survey, 40% of people thought that women had less of an impact on history than men (source).

The East End Women’s Museum is part of the solution, and a matter of representation. We want to rebalance the history books, and put women back in the picture.

East London women lives are full of amazing stories; stories of pride, of creativity, of humour, resilience, resourcefulness and resistance – from the Bow Matchwomen’s Strike to the Battle of Cable Street, the Ford Dagenham machinists’ walkout to the Bengali families squatting to improve housing in Spitalfields. We have footballersinventorscarers, pilotsgenerals, pirates and more.

And we won’t just tell women's extraordinary stories either, but 'ordinary' ones too, because history is of course more complicated than a handful of ‘important’ individuals and events.

The museum seek to do all this through:

  • Working towards opening a new museum at a site in Barking in 2021.

  • Being a pop-up museum, working in partnership to create touring exhibitions and events.

  • Organising workshops and events for schools, community groups and the general public.

  • Researching and recording stories to share online.