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Now that a major political party has gotten around to nominating a woman for president, it’s time to celebrate Girl Power (with apologies to feminists who may bristle at said term) in Washington DC. Believe it ornot, in a city where the power structure has traditionally been dominated by men, there are still plenty of places in the nation’s capital where women call the shots. Here are six DC cultural attractions where women rule:

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It’s likely politic to start a celebratory tour of dynamic dames at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, formerly known as the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum. The National Park Service recently added the Capitol Hill site to its roster, hence the name change. The building was once home to the National Women’s Party, which led the women’s rights movement of the early 20th century. Today, the museum honors the suffrage movement, along with the continuing fight for equal rights.

National Museum of Women in the Arts - washington dc

National Museum of Women in the Arts | Flickr CC: Allison Meier

Next, head downtown to recognize creative women of another character. The National Museum of Women in the Arts calls itself the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to examining the work of female artists. The institution has a permanent collection of 4,500 works by more than 1,000 artists, spanning five centuries.

The Daughters of the American Revolution is one of the country’s more august historical societies. The DAR Museum is a treasure trove of historic memorabilia and artifacts examining everyday life in pre-industrial America. If you think you are descended from a DAR, check out the organization’s extensive on-site archive.

Statuesque Women
There are statues of Jefferson, Lincoln, Lafayette, Einstein and dozens of other statues around DC dedicated to dudes. Women are not as well-represented (imagine that), but there are some sculpted homages to the country’s fiercest females.

Eleanor Roosevelt statue

Eleanor Roosevelt statue |Flickr CC: Sean Hayford Oleary

Eleanor Roosevelt was likely the first First Lady to take the reins of power and run with them. Among other accomplishments, she was part of the first American delegation to the United Nations and chaired its first Commission on Human Rights. That’s why the life-size bronze of Eleanor stands in front of a UN logo at the sprawling FDR Memorial.

Roosevelt was a big supporter of Mary McLeod Bethune, one of the country’s early civil rights activists. Bethune devoted her career to improving the lives of African Americans through education and political and economic empowerment. She founded a private school for African-American children, headed up the National Council of Negro Women, and was a special assistant to the secretary of war during World War II. Her memorial in Lincoln Park features the elderly Mrs. Bethune with two young children.

Vietnam Womens Memoria-washington dc

Vietnam Women’s Memorial | Flickr CC: Jeff Kubina

One of the most touching sculptures on the National Mall may also be among the most overlooked. The Vietnam Women’s Memorial is located in a grove of trees near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The 2,000-pound bronze statue by female sculptor Glenna Goodacre depicts three servicewomen, one of whom is tending to the needs of a wounded soldier.

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Laura Powell

Laura Powell

Laura is a 20-year veteran travel journalist. She was CNN's first travel reporter, and has written for publications ranging from Alaska Airlines Magazine to The Washington Post. Find her at the or on Twitter: @dailysuitcase

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