Home POLITICAL NEWS Millicent Fawcett: Statue of suffragist unveiled

Millicent Fawcett: Statue of suffragist unveiled

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Millicent Fawcett statue

A statue commemorating the life of the suffragist, Millicent Fawcett, has been unveiled opposite Parliament.

She campaigned for women’s right to vote during the early 20th Century and is seen as one of the most influential feminists of the past 100 years.

Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to the “truly great” campaigner’s “lasting impact” after it was unveiled.

The bronze casting, by the artist Gillian Wearing, is the first statue of a woman erected in Parliament Square.

It features her holding a banner reading “courage calls to courage everywhere” and was commissioned as part of this year’s centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act – which gave some women over the age of 30 the vote.

It followed a campaign by the feminist writer and activist Caroline Criado Perez, who also led last year’s successful effort to get Jane Austen to appear on the £10 note.

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.

The Suffragists – were first to organise, forming local societies in the 1860s

The Suffragettes – were active for just 10 years after splitting from the Suffragists in 1903

Suffragists – focused on middle-class women

Suffragettes – encouraged working-class women to protest

Suffragists – held public speaking events, lobbied MPs and wrote petitions

Suffragettes – disrupted meetings, vandalised art and buildings and were often arrested

Suffragists – dinner parties!

Suffragettes – hunger strikes!

Everyone organised marches!

Suffragists – successfully built support in parliament over many years

Suffragettes – increased publicity and re-energised the cause but also sparked a backlash

Then in World War One, women took new roles in factories and beyond…

…which made denying them voting rights harder than ever

After 50 years of women standing up and speaking out…

Parliament finally passed a law giving some women the vote in 1918

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