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Overcoming All the Odds

11 Mar 2022

The statue is of Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy has taken centre stage in Bridge Street, Congleton. She was a lifelong campaigner for women's rights in the UK anf the unveiling took place fittingly, on International Women's Day. She is seen here surrounded by sculptor Hazel Reeves and the current-day camapigners who worked so long and hard to make this event a reality. She lived in Congleton from 1867, having previously spent most of her life in several of the villages around what is now Greater Manchester. She fought tirelessly  for women's rights, with a particular focus being on girls' education.This had been a point of special importance to Elizabeth, as she and her brother had been afforded vastly unequal levels of education as children, with her brother ultimately becoming a professor of mathematics at Cambridge while Elizabeth was not even permitted a higher education. Despite this lack of formal education, she was dubbed 'the brains od the Suffragist movement " by no less a person than Emmeilne Pankhurst.

Elizabeth also campaigned for women's rights within marriage, including women's property rights in marriage, as the law in the UK in the 19th century was that a woman's property became her husband's upon marriage. Her statue was unveiled by Baroness Hale, a British judge who served as President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from 2017.