A statue of Millicent Fawcett, one of the leading figures in the campaign to win women the vote, is to be erected in Parliament Square – making her the first-ever woman to be honoured in this way.
As president of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett, GBE, led the peaceful campaign for women’s suffrage. She also campaigned for women’s rights in many other areas, including access to higher education.
The statue will form part of celebrations to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which was introduced thanks to Fawcett’s campaigning and which first gave some women the right to vote. Full equality at the ballot box was not achieved until a decade later, just a year before Fawcett’s death.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
The example Millicent Fawcett set during the struggle for equality continues to inspire the battle against the burning injustices of today.
It is right and proper that she is honoured in Parliament Square alongside former leaders who changed our country.
Her statue will stand as a reminder of how politics only has value if it works for everyone in society.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
Millicent Fawcett was one of the great campaigners for equal rights and all of us – women and men alike – owe her a debt of gratitude
This statue will be a fitting tribute to Fawcett and all she achieved. Standing in front of Parliament, it will remind us all of the sacrifices Fawcett made and the journey that we as a country have come on over the past 100 years.
The statue will be funded from the £5 million fund provided at the Spring Budget to support projects marking the anniversary.