7 JUNE 2016

Today, June 7th, marks 150th anniversary of the first petition for women’s votes being delivered to Parliament, and the start the Fawcett Society, following our founder Millicent Fawcett’s contribution to gaining voting rights for women.

Caroline Criado-Perez is taking her campaign for a statue of a suffragette in Parliament Square to parliament today, on the 150th anniversary of the first petition for women’s votes, and will call for the statue to be of suffragist Millicent Fawcett.

The campaign has been gathering momentum since an open letter to newly-elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, calling on him to put a statue of a Suffragette in Parliament Square was signed by Emma Watson, JK Rowling and many other high profile women. The Mayor quickly responded supporting the campaign. The original change.org petition has now secured close to 75,000 signatures. There are 11 statues of men in Parliament Square, but no statues of women.

We are hosting an event in the Speaker’s House State Rooms by kind permission of Mr Speaker Rt Hon John Bercow MP in parliament today, timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the presentation to parliament of the first petition for women’s votes Millicent Fawcett.

Commenting Caroline Criado-Perez said:

“Millicent Fawcett was there from the very beginning of the fight for women’s suffrage. At the age of 19 she organised signatures for the first petition for women’s votes to be handed to Parliament. She died the year after women were finally granted equal voting rights in 1928. It’s shocking that she doesn’t already have a statue of her own — and Parliament Square is the obvious place for her to be. Not round the corner, or up the road. Nothing less than Parliament Square will do.”

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society commented:

“It is just fantastic that Caroline is calling for the statue to be of Millicent Fawcett who is finally receiving the recognition she deserves and that the campaign is winning such support. We will do all we can to ensure this campaign succeeds.”

Fawcett will also be hosting Generation F in the evening, an intergenerational discussion event. To follow the event and watch the video afterwards, sign up to our mailing list here or become a member.

Read the full press release here.