UK

Jeremy Corbyn Backs 'Mary On The Green' Campaign In Call For More Women Statues

07/03/2016 12:02 GMT | Updated 07/03/2016 12:59 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn has called for urgent action to redress Britain's "shocking" bias of statues that he claims remember men but ignore women's significant achievements.

The Labour leader said it was time to draw up a "clear plan" to "honour the extraordinary women who have transformed our lives and changed our history" by commemorating their achievements in stone.

jeremy corbyn

Corbyn derided the number of statues featuring women

There are some 220 listed statues in London alone, according to HistoricEngland, but the number of historical women depicted - not including royals - stands at just 14, on a par with the number of statues commemorating animals.

In his fight for women to feature more prominently among them, Corbyn drew attention to one particular campaign that is fighting for a statue to be erected of the writer, philosopher and women's rights campaigner Mary Wollstonecraft.

He said on Sunday: "The overriding bias of statues and memorials towards men in our country is shocking. It is time to redress the balance and honour the millions of women who have transformed Britain for the better.

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Wollstonecraft sparked seminal change in the rights of women

"Incredibly, there are no statues to the outstanding writer and women’s rights campaigner, Mary Wollstonecraft, despite her inspiration to women and men who followed her.

"It is time to right the balance with a clear plan to honour the extraordinary women who have transformed our lives and changed our history."

Wollstonecraft is regarded as "one of history’s most neglected icons", campaign group 'Mary on the Green' say.

Her supporters and countless politicians hail the eighteenth century author as having sparked a groundbreaking change in the fortunes of women's education and place in society.

A spokesperson for the Wollstonecraft campaign told HuffPost UK it was "critical" women's achievements be celebrated in a public and visible way, adding they were "delighted" the government was interested in helping fund a statue to celebrate the "mother of feminism".


"It's critical that women's achievements are celebrated in a visible way - Mary Wollstonecraft changed the world around us with her pioneering writing on gender equality and human rights," Bee Rowlatt said.

"She is an important icon of social mobility, and our campaign group Mary on the Green is delighted that she's finally getting the recognition she so richly deserves!"

She would join other notable figures who have statues of them featured in London, including Edith Cavell, who was killed helping Allied soldiers escape Occupied Belgium during World War I; Emmeline Pankurst, the Suffragette leader; and the founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale.

Supporters calling for her to be commemorated in statue are holding a fundraiser on Tuesday to mark International Women's Day and raise awareness of their campaign.