You cannot be what you cannot see. Statues send a powerful message about what matters to us – and implicitly about what doesn’t. Women are 51% of the UK population. Men are over 90% of all the memorials. Women who are memorialized are overwhelmingly royal or allegorical. We want to see greater diversity of women memorialized in public art.
This campaign seeks to raise a memorial to Mary Wollstonecraft, feminist icon, philosopher, and campaigner for human rights and equality. We propose a statue in Newington Green, London, where she lived, established a girls’ school, and began her writing career.
Mary Wollstonecraft was an exceptional thinker and advocate, the foremother of feminism, a key Enlightenment thinker, and an early human rights champion. Her book, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), was the first book in English arguing for the equality of woman and men. She set out the need for representation of women in our democracy, inspiring Millicent Fawcett to lead the Suffragist movement a century later. Her call for equality of education for boys and girls was directly drawn upon by William Gladstone as he crafted state education in 1870.
Mary Wollstonecraft was also the first female war correspondent, reporting from the steps of the Guillotine during the Reign of Terror, as well as the mother of Mary Shelley. Today Mary’s campaign for equality and human rights is just as relevant as it was in the eighteenth century
The memorial will be a tangible way to share Wollstonecraft’s vision and ideas and act as an inspiration to local young people in Islington, Haringey, Hackney and beyond. We must raise the funds to recognize Mary with a memorial in this the year that we celebrate Votes for Women.
Make it happen. Please sign this petition and visit www.maryonthegreen.org for more information about the campaign. Check out our twitter @maryonthegreen and the hashtag #MinuteforMary to see our supporters talk about why they love Mary Wollstonecraft and why she deserves a memorial. Why not join in and make your own #MinuteforMary video.
Sign the petition to Sadik Kahn, Mayor of London, here.