This statue of Millicent Fawcett is the first (and still the only) statue of a woman in Parliament Square where there are 12 statues of men (Churchill, Gandhi, Mandela, Lincoln …) This is also the first statue in the Square created by a woman, Gillian Wearing. It was dedicated on April 24, 2018 following a campaign to celebrate 100 years of voting rights for women. 

Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett (1847-1929) was a pioneer of the women’s suffrage movement; she led the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies 1897 -1919. She lived to see Britain’s then all-male parliament pass the Representation of the People Act of 1918, which gave the right to vote to some women over 30 years old, and later the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 which equalized the age at which men and women could vote. Her advocacy of a non-violent, gradual approach caused the Pankhursts to split off and form a more militant group.

The quotation on the banner she is holding, “courage calls to courage everywhere,” is from a speech Fawcett gave after the death of fellow suffrage campaigner Emily Davison. Davison was killed on Derby Day in 1913 at Epsom racecourse when she ran onto the track to attempt to attach a suffragist banner to the reins of the King’s horse. The two women were from opposite approaches to social change. Fawcett disagreed with Davison’s methods, yet acknowledged her courage.

Fifty-five women and four men who supported women’s suffrage appear on the statue’s  plinth, arranged in birth order: Louisa Garrett Anderson; Dame Margery Corbett Ashby; Margaret Ashton; Minnie Baldock; Frances Balfour; Lydia Becker; Rosa May Billinghurst; Teresa Billington-Greig; Helen Blackburn; Ada Nield Chew; Frances Power Cobbe; Jessie Craigen; Emily Wilding Davison; Charlotte Despard; Flora Drummond; Elizabeth Clarke Wolstenholme Elmy; Isabella Ford; Henrietta Franklin; Mary Gawthorp; Eva Gore-Booth; Anna Haslam; Claude Hinscliff; Laurence Housman; Edith How-Martyn; Elsie Inglis; Annie Kenney; George Lansbury; Minnie Lansbury; Mary Lowndes; Mary Macarthur; Margaret Mackworth, 2nd Viscountess Rhondda; Chrystal Macmillan; Catherine Marshall; Eva McLaren; Priscilla Bright McLaren; Dora Montefiore; Edith Mansell Moullin; Catherine Osler; Maud Palmer, Countess of Selborne; Adela Pankhurst; Dame Christabel Pankhurst; Emmeline Pankhurst; Sylvia Pankhurst; Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence; Frederick Pethick-Lawrence; Agnes Pochin; Eleanor Rathbone; Sarah Reddish; Annot Robinson; Esther Roper; Lolita Roy; Agnes Maude Royden; Julia Scurr; Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington; Sophia Duleep Singh; Nessie Stewart-Brown; Ray Strachey; Helena Swanwick; Ellen Wilkinson.

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