Councillors Anna Smith and Rosy Moore, who hold leadership positions on the City Council, have spoken to reflect on the changing position of women in society as a statue commemorating the life of the suffragist, Millicent Garrett Fawett, is unveiled in Parliament Square, London, today.

Councillor Anna Smith, who is the Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces, said: “The first statue of a woman in Parliament Square is long overdue, and it is fitting that it is of Milicent, who was a tireless campaigner for women’s suffrage, equality in education and justice for society’s most vulnerable.

Milicent was a Cambridge resident and co-founder of Newnham College, and we were delighted to unveil a blue plaque to her on 6 February as part of the centenary of some women winning the vote.   On that evening we also remembered other leading Cambridge pioneer women, such as Leah Manning, a leading light in teaching unions and a campaigner for equal pay and equal votes, and Clara Rackham, one of my predecessors as a Romsey councillor, who campaigned for a 40 hour week and the protection of vulnerable children.”

Councillor Rosy Moore, who is the Executive Councillor for Environmental Services and the City Centre, said: “Millicent died in 1929, a year after women were granted the vote on equal terms with men but her legacy also continues to be to inspire women everywhere to carry on the fight for genuinely equal citizenship. As an 11 year old in primary school my classmates and I wrote and took part in a play about her life and work. I hope she would be proud that a majority of the Directors and the Chief Executive at the City Council are women, as well as Anna and myself holding leadership positions. There is still some way to go to ensure equal representation of women as councillors and MPs in local and national government by all political parties but this year over half of our new candidates are women.”

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