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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

London's Parliament Square Gets Statue of Millicent Fawcett , first monument honouring a woman Tuesday April 24,2018

A statue of 19th century British feminist leader Millicent Fawcett was unveiled in London's Parliament Square on Tuesday April 24,2018, the first monument honouring a woman in a public space previously occupied by 11 statues of men.

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Fawcett led campaigning for women to be given the vote in Britain, and the unveiling of the statue was the high point in a series of events marking 100 years since some women were granted that right for the first time in 1918.

Fawcett is represented in middle age, with her head held high, gazing straight at the Houses of Parliament and holding a banner that reads "Courage calls to courage everywhere", a quote from one of her speeches.

Fawcett started campaigning for votes for women when she was 19 years old, in 1866. She dedicated the following six decades of her life to the cause, leading what was then known as the suffragist movement -- as opposed to the suffragettes who adopted more militant methods of activism.

She lived to see Britain's then all-male parliament pass the Representation of the People Act of 1918, which gave the right to vote to some women over 30 years old, and later the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 which equalised the age at which men and women could vote. She died in 1929.

The statue came about as a result of a campaign launched by feminist Caroline Criado-Perez, who had already had success in pushing for a woman, novelist Jane Austen, to be represented on a bank note.

Criado-Perez said her research had shown there were more statues in Britain of men called John than there were statues of women. Excluding Queen Victoria, fewer than 3 percent of statues represented women, she said.

The bronze by Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing - also the first statue by a woman to stand in the square - took its place among monuments to the likes of Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln.

Prime Minister Theresa May, Britain's second woman head of government, said during the unveiling ceremony that she would not be standing there today, in that role, had it not been for Fawcett's struggle.

"Few of us can claim to have made an impact as significant and lasting as Dame Millicent, and it is right and proper that, today, she takes her place at the heart of our democracy," May told an audience of politicians, business leaders, feminist campaigners and schoolchildren.

Millicent Fawcett (June 11,1847 - Aug 05,1929) - All You Need To Know

Millicent Fawcett was a British feminist, intellectual, political and union leader, and writer who is primarily known for her work as a campaigner for women to have the vote

Millicent Fawcett is considered instrumental in gaining the vote for six million British women over 30 years old in 1918 (as occurred with the Representation of the People ACt 1918)

Millicent Fawcett concentrated much of her energy on the struggle to improve women's opportunities for higher education and in 1875 co-founded Newnham College,Cambridge

Millicent Fawcett began her career in the political platform at twenty-two years old at the first women's suffrage meeting. As leader of NUWSS, she was a moderate campaigner, distancing herself from the militant and violent activities of suffragettes like the Pankhursts and the Women's Social and Political Union  (WSPU)

Millicent Fawcett became president of the National Union Of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), a position she held from 1897 until 1919


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