Millbank students unveiled first statue of female at Parliament Square
A group of year 4 students from Millbank Academy went to Parliament Square on Wednesday, 25 March to watch history being made, and to reveal to the world, the first ever statue of a female figure at Parliament Square.
The statue was of Millicent Fawcett, and also mark 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave some women the right to vote for the first time. It is for her tireless campaigning to achieve this right, that Millicent Fawcett is being recognised in this way.
At the unveiling of the bronze statue was the Prime Minister, Theresa May; the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan; and the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn. As the statue was revealed by one of our very own students, Theresa May said:
"I would not be standing here today as prime minister, no female MPs would have taken their seats in Parliament, none of us would have had the rights and protections we now enjoy, were it not for one truly great woman: Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett."
Millicent Fawcett was a Suffragist. This means she was part of a campaign group called the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies which fought peacefully for equal rights for women. For example, they wrote letters and held marches outside the Houses of Parliament.
They were different to a similar group called the Suffragettes, who fought for women's rights through often violent means, such as tying themselves to railings, or going on hunger strike.
The idea of women having the vote was called Female Suffrage, and was difficult for a lot of people at the time.
Millbank Academy has chosen to celebrate this momentous event in our history because it is representative of our inclusivity, and we are so proud that we were able to send students to represent the school in this way.