Suffragist is 1st woman to get statue outside UK Parliament

Fawcett Speaks

Fawcett was a leading member of the suffragist movement

The statue of Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929), who played a leading role in women getting the right to vote, is the first of a woman to be erected on the hallowed turf that directly faces the Mother of Parliaments.

The 8ft 4in bronze statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett is the first of a woman outside the Palace of Westminster.

She is best known for her campaigns to improve women's opportunities in higher education and was a co-founder of the women-only Newnham College at Cambridge University.

2018 marks 100 years since women first secured the right to vote, and Millicent Fawcett is making history again.

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The 11 statues of male historic figures dotted around Britain's Parliament Square had a new addition Tuesday - Millicent Fawcett.

Fawcett's suffrage movement used non-violent methods to campaign for equal rights for women, as opposed to the more radical suffragettes known for their extreme tactics of hunger strikes, arson and chaining themselves to property.

Talking on the occasion Mrs Might, mentioned: "I'd not be right here right this moment as Prime Minister, no feminine MPs would have taken their seats in Parliament, none of us would have the rights and protections we now take pleasure in, have been it not for Dame Millicent Garret Fawcett".

The movement went on to gain the support of the Mayor of London and the Prime Minister, and the bronze figure was commissioned, and then produced by Turner Prize victor Gillian Wearing.

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Caroline Criado Perez first launched the online petition after noticing there were no statues of women in Parliament Square during a run. She was a suffragist, or a person who believed in campaigning peacefully for women's rights. Until now, not a single public statue of her has existed.

Fawcett had started petitioning for the right to vote in 1866, gathering signatures from women across the country and lobbying politicians. Debates persist today about whether the suffragists, with their peaceful campaigns, or the suffragettes, who believed in more militant forms of activism, had a larger impact on British society.

The square, which backs onto Britain's parliament and is often a centre of political protest, also includes monuments to Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi and South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the enduring feminist determine, saying "few of us can declare to have made an impression as vital and lasting" on the historical past of Britain as her.

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