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Millicent joins the "Gentlemen's Club"

April 21, 2018

The statue of the suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett is to be unveiled 100 years after MPs passed a bill that gave some women the vote.

The unveiling in Parliament Square will take place on the 24th April, the first monument of a woman to stand in the central London location. The installation by Gillian Wearing, the Turner prize winner,  will also feature 52 photographic etchings on tiles around the statue depicting 59 key women – and a few men – who were central in the push for women’s suffrage.

“I wanted the monument to be as inclusive as possible and to reflect that many women were involved in progressing the rights of equality, some of whom have never been publicly recognised,” Wearing said. “It is important to realise the battle for equality didn’t come easily. It was a long, hard, arduous struggle...”

The government committed £5m to fund celebrations for the centenary year last March. Around £1m is funding new statues of women including that of Fawcett and one of Emmeline Pankhurst in Manchester,  the city’s first new monument to a woman in more than 100 years.

The Government Equalities Office announced in December that seven areas across England would receive a share of £1.2m to fund projects. But women’s groups have complained that applying for a £1.5m Women's Vote Centenary Fund for grassroots projects has been "unneccessarily difficult".


The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan  has launched a #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign to “champion the fact that it is the achievements and contributions of women, from all walks of life, which make cities like London great”. The year-long programme of events includes a display of works by female artists on the Underground.“We want to mark the progress we’ve made in the last 100 years, but as importantly to use it as a springboard to go forward to fight gender inequality.”