Explore, discover, and learn about the rich – but hidden – history of women without children

Society’s conception of womanhood is intrinsically tied to the idea of motherhood. However, around 1 in 5 women never become mothers, which means that the misconception of equating womanhood with motherhood excludes a significant portion of women. This virtual museum aims to bring attention to the presence of childless and childfree women throughout history by highlighting their achievements and legacies.

Whether by circumstance or choice, women who had no children have been harshly judged for hundreds of years, most often with pity or contempt, through stereotypical representations that have endured to this day. Parts of this virtual museum are dedicated to emphasizing the complexity and nuances of living without children, by showcasing the varied experiences and wide range of emotions that can result from being childless or childfree.

At its core a private matter, childlessness has at time taken on a political significance, most recently as an attempt to curb the climate change catastrophe. This will also be explored in an upcoming exhibition.

Note: the focus on women’s history as part of the history of childfree people is not meant to be exclusive of men. As this website continues to grow, we hope to include the history of childless and childfree men as well.

Facts and Numbers

Notable Women Throughout History

A list of well-known women throughout history who did not have children

Women’s Firsts

A timeline of firsts in history and notable accomplishments achieved by women without children

Profiles by Profession

Over 100 profiles of women writers, scientists, artists, and more

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