Campaign to commemorate the achievements of suffragist Millicent Fawcett



In April 2017, Townswomen’s Guilds’ campaign to honour suffrage campaigner Millicent Fawcett with a statue in Parliament Square finally achieved government support.

Following a campaign long supported by Townwomen’s Guilds and a number of public figures, the votes for women campaigner Dame Millicent Fawcett, GBE is to be honoured with a statue in Parliament Square. The statue will make Dame Millicent Fawcett the first woman to be recognised in this place.

In a statement, Prime Minister Theresa May said that the example Millicent Fawcett set during the struggle for equality “continues to inspire the battle against the burning injustices of today.”

“Dame Millicent Fawcett was a vital force in helping to achieve many of the rights we take for granted, by peaceful means,” said TG’s National Chairman, Jennifer Rideout. “Millicent Fawcett and the suffrage movement led directly to the foundation of the Townswomen’s Guilds. She is an important and inspiring woman, entirely worthy of this recognition.”

As president of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), Dame Millicent Fawcett led the campaign for women’s suffrage. Stepping down as President of the NUWSS in 1919, she continued to support the campaign for equal citizenship and died in 1929 shortly after it was achieved, having given her blessing to the establishment of the first Townswomen’s Guilds. The statue will form part of celebrations to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People’s Act 1918, which first gave some women the vote.

The Prime Minister also said that it was “right and proper’ for Dame Millicent Fawcett to be “honoured in Parliament Square alongside former leaders who changed our country.”

The statue will be funded from the £5 million fund provided at the Spring Budget to support projects marking the anniversary.

Links to more information about Millicent Fawcett
Houses of Parliament leaflet: Millicent Garrett Fawcett and the early women's suffrage movement 1867-1897
Blog: Woman and her Sphere
Wikipedia entry: Millicent Fawcett
The Fawcett Society: Campaigning today
Biography Online: Millicent Fawcett


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Photograph: Bain News Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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