Parliament Square's first statue of a woman - suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett - will be unveiled in London next week

 
Rebecca Smith
Gillian Wearing will create the statue
Gillian Wearing will create the statue (Source: City Hall)

A statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett will be unveiled in Parliament Square next week, and will be the first ever monument of a woman to stand in the square.

London mayor Sadiq Khan, who has called the statue "long overdue", will be attending the unveiling of the bronze cast which is due to coincide with a centenary of women winning the right to vote.

Members of the public have been invited to attend the unveiling, which will be held in Parliament Square at 11am on Tuesday 24 April, and people can arrive from 10.45am to secure a space.

The statue has been designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing, and she will be the first female sculptor to have a work displayed in the square.

Read more: Millicent Fawcett will be the first ever female statue in Parliament Square

A petition was started by campaigner Caroline Criado Perez to get the first statue of a woman in Parliament Square, and that was signed by nearly 85,000 people.

The mayor responded to the campaign and following a process undertaken by the Suffrage Statue Commission, Wearing was chosen to create the statue of Fawcett.

Fawcett founded the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies in 1897, with the organisation using peaceful tactics for campaigning such as petitions and the lobbying of MPs.

The statue will portray Fawcett with a placard saying "courage calls to courage everywhere", from a speech she gave following the death of campaigner Emily Wilding Davison.

Read more: Don’t tell girls they’ll be victims - focus on the success of working women

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