Women on the Map

spark-women-on-the-map-map

Looking around, you’d think that women rarely did things that made history. Check out some of these stats from Equal Visibility Everywhere that illustrate the issue:

  • There are no US holidays named after women
  • There are currently no women on US paper currency (though we’re super excited about Harriet Tubman gracing the 10 spot soon)
  • Only nine of the 100 statues in the US National Statuary Hall are of women
  • Fewer than 25% of US postage stamps honoring people feature women
  • In New York City there are 150 statues of people: 145 are men and 5 are of women

Those facts are all US-based, but this is a worldwide issue. Think about the schools you’ve attended, the buildings you’ve worked in, the streets you’ve lived on and driven down. Who were they named after? Probably not women.

In 2014, we saw the same thing happen when we looked at Google’s Doodles: between 2010 and 2013, only 17% of Google Doodles around the world honored women. When we talked to them about it, not only had they already started fixing the problem, but they also invited us to join their Field Trip app. Google knows, as we do, that it’s not that women don’t make history–it’s that we don’t honor them for it.

That’s what we’re aiming to fix with Women on the Map, an innovative and educational project of SPARK Movement hosted on Field Trip, a mapping app by Google. We researched and wrote about over 100 women around the world who did something incredible (not so hard to find – women have been kicking ass for thousands of years!). Then, using Field Trip, we linked those achievements with IRL places using Google Map technology. When you download Field Trip and turn on SPARK’s Women on the Map, your phone will buzz when you approach a place where a woman made history.

Here’s a quick look at just some of the stories we featured in our initial launch of the app:

  • The Arpilleristas in Santiago, Chile, a group of women who wove colorful tapestries documenting the turmoil and violence of Pinochet’s regime.
  • Mary Ellen Pleasant in San Francisco, CA, an activist and abolitionist who, among other things, would dress like a jockey to help slaves escape their plantations.
  • Mary Anning in Lyme, England, a renowned fossilist who discovered fossils of a Plesiosaurus, rocking the scientific community to its core.

To learn about these women and more, get the app! It’s available for free on Android and iOS. On Android, once you download it, you’re done! Our cards will show up in the “history” category. Have an iPhone? Once you’ve downloaded the app, look for “SPARK: Women on the Map” in “Historic Places and Events.” Make sure the box is checked, and that’s it!

This is only the beginning. There are so, so many more than 100 women who deserve to be honored, from all walks of life and all parts of the world. We are currently looking for partners to help provide resources so we can expand this project. If you are interested in supporting this project, please contact us.

Contact Us!