by Felicity Collier
SUFFRAGIST Dame Millicent Fawcett will be the first woman to be honoured with a statue in Parliament Square, Prime Minister Theresa May announced yesterday.
Ms Fawcett (pictured), who led the constitutional campaign for votes for women, will be commemorated next year marking a century since women gained the vote in Britain.
Ms Fawcett campaigned for better opportunities for women’s higher education but rejected the militant tactics of the Suffragettes.
Chief executive of equality organisation the Fawcett Society Sam Smethers said: “Her contribution was great but she has been overlooked and unrecognised until now.
“By honouring her we also honour the wider suffrage movement. The Fawcett Society will be using the centenary next year to tell that story in all its diversity.”
The statue comes after a campaign was launched by feminist activist Caroline Criado-Perez last year.
Ms 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.”