Parliament Square's first female statue to be unveiled

Churchill and other male statues have, until now, dominated Parliament Square

Churchill and other male statues have, until now, dominated Parliament Square

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The first statue of a woman in Parliament Square is to be unveiled, two years after the campaign to get female representation outside the Palace of Westminster first began.

Millicent Fawcett, the suffragist who fought for women's right to vote in the early 20th century, will join eleven all-male statues including Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.

The unveiling on Tuesday comes seven months after the statue, which features a 50-year-old Fawcett holding a banner reading "Courage calls to courage everywhere", first went into production.

Speaking before the unveiling at a private viewing, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "When you think of the great people in Parliament Square and when you realise that not one of them is a woman, it sort of begs the question, are we saying there haven't been incredible women in the past? That our country hasn't been built on the back of great women?"

The whole process - from petition to project manager - has been made up of solely women.

"That should make us all incredibly proud," Mr Khan said. "So the questions can't be asked now: Are there any talented women sculptures? Are there any talented women project managers? Are there any talented women with ideas? We have thrown those questions out the window.

"Londoners are going to love it. They will be blown away."