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Schoolchildren unveil Parliament Square’s first statue of a woman

Agatha from Year 4 joined the Prime Minister and Mayor Sadiq Khan on historic day

27 April, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Children of Millbank  Academy

SCHOOLCHILDREN helped make history this week when they unveiled the first statue of a woman in Parliament Square.

Agatha, a Year 4 pupil at Millbank Academy, was on the platform on Tuesday with senior politicians and dignitaries as the curtain came off on Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing’s statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett.

The new statue – which bears the inscription Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere – has followed a campaign by activist Caroline Criado Perez.

She is also celebrated for getting Jane Austen on the new £10 note – another first for the women’s movement.

Artist Ms Wearing OBE said: “I hope those viewing the work will be able to appreciate this along with being able to celebrate Millicent Fawcett along with all the other suffrage supporters and activists also honoured.”

Ms Fawcett was not a Suffragette and preferred non-violent forms of protest. The statue unveiling is one of the many events taking place this year to celebrate the centenary year of suffrage. In 1918, women who owned property were granted the vote for the first time. Ten years later, all women were given the right to vote.

The statue is part funded by the Women’s Votes Centenary Grant Scheme.

Alongside Fawcett, the names and portraits of 59 women and men who campaigned for women’s suffrage are inscribed on the plinth.

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