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Millicent Fawcett: First statue of a woman at UK Parliament Square

Millicent Fawcett: First statue of a woman at UK Parliament Square

Parliament Square's first ever statue of a woman has been unveiled by Theresa May, coinciding with the centenary of the start of the United Kingdom suffrage movement.

Fawcett was president of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies and a key campaigner in the movement that secured British women over 30 the right to vote in 1918.

She died a year later in 1929.

It is also the first statue on Parliament Square designed by a woman - British artist Gillian Wearing.

The statue of women's rights campaigner Millicent Fawcett will stand alongside those of 11 men, including Britain's wartime leader Winston Churchill, Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.

As for the square itself, until now, all 11 statues there were men.

After 50 years of women standing up and speaking out.

It was the culmination of a two-year campaign by the feminist activist and journalist Caroline Criado Perez, who began a petition that collected nearly 85,000 names.

Were it not for Fawcett, "I would not be here today as prime minister, no female MPs would have taken their seats in parliament, none of us would have the rights we now enjoy", May said.

More news: A goose attacked a MI high school golfer and took him out!

She said she came up with the idea for the statue when she was out running on International Women's Day in 2016 and realised the only historical figures commemorated there were men.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "Finally, Parliament Square is no longer a male-only zone for statues".

"For generations to come, this statue will serve not just as a reminder of Dame Millicent's extraordinary life and legacy, but as inspiration to all of us who wish to follow in her footsteps", she added.

"There's a number of women who deserve statues".

A statue was unveiled in front of Britain's Houses of Parliament on Tuesday of one of the leading "votes for women" campaigners.

The movement went on to gain the support of the Mayor of London and the Prime Minister, and the bronze figure was commissioned, and then produced by Turner Prize victor Gillian Wearing.

He said of the statue: "Londoners are going to love it".

In 1866, at the age of 19, Fawcett collected signatures for the first petition demanding female suffrage to be handed in to Parliament.


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