Millicent Fawcett: 'Having a statue of a woman near Parliament is delicious revenge'

Millicent Fawcett: 'Having a statue of a woman near Parliament is delicious revenge'

A statue of Millicent Fawcett will be unveiled next year

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Having a statue of a female in Parliament Square is "delicious revenge" after women were locked out of Parliament for so many years, a leading feminist writer has said.

The first statue of a woman in Parliament Square is to be unveiled next year, in celebration of 100 years since women were first allowed to vote. The statue depicts Millicent Fawcett, who founded the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies in 1897.

Claire Cohen, the deputy women's editor at The Telegraph, told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "It might not seem like a huge thing but having a woman in that space right outside the Parliament, where we were locked out for centuries, is sort of a delicious revenge.

"To walk into Parliament Square, say, as a young girl and not see any female faces there, to just think maybe there weren't any brilliant women in the history of this country is so wrong and how disempowering is that."

However she hopes "we don’t have to wait another century for the next centenary to have the [Emmeline Pankhurst] statue" which has also been called for.

Cohen added that whilst the suffragette movement was a collaborative effort, Fawcett is "a great choice, she gave the famous speech after Emily Wilding Davison (a fellow suffragette) was trampled to death at the Epsom Derby...she dedicated her life to suffrage and she's perhaps been slightly overlooked."

Listen to the full interview above