Statue of WoManchester’s Emmeline Pankhurst to be unveiled in December

Debbie Manley | 19th February 2018

A new statue of Emmeline Pankhurst called Rise Up Women by Hazel Reeves will be unveiled on Friday 14 December – the 100th anniversary of some women voting for the first time in a UK General Election. 

The WoManchester Statue Project was set up as a four-year campaign in 2015, lead by Councillor Andrew Simcock, to see more female statues in Manchester City Centre to go along side the current 16 male statues and one statue of Queen Victoria.

But it looks like the meeting circle, which the statue will stand on, will be unveiled in July, followed by the full statue in December, three months  before the original deadline of International Women’s Day March 2019.

Manchester City Council’s planning committee approved the plans, after hearing from 11-year-old Fatima Shahid, from Newall Green Primary School, who talked passionately as an advocate for the campaign.

She said: “We first got to hear about this project in March last year from Miss Monaghan, a Manchester councillor and teaching assistant at our school. We had an assembly, where we found out more about Councillor Simcock’s idea to change the history of Manchester.

“The fact that we only had one female statue, Queen Victoria, and sixteen male statues, seemed very wrong and unfair to us. I’m glad that’s about to change!

We learnt about Emmeline Pankhurst, a Manchester woman who did such a lot for the people of our great city. She wanted to improve the lives of women and girls in Manchester. Through her hard work and determination things started to change for the better for the people she cared so much about.

“We did a survey to decide which of the six statues we liked best. We asked a total of 339 members of our school community, including some staff members.

“We were impressed with all of the statues, it’s a shame we can’t have them all! However, Hazel’s design was the most popular and gained a total of 84 of the 339 votes. I’m proud that our school had the opportunity to be part of this project and to vote on the winning statue. We will now be part of history too.

“Having this statue in Manchester shows the rest of the country that we are a fair and modern city. I look forward to next year when I can visit the city centre and call to see Emmeline and say hello.

“Then, in years to come, I can bring my children and my grandchildren and tell them Emmeline’s story and tell them how I had a say in her statue being here. There is still lots to do to make life more equal for men and women.

Emmeline Pankhurst made change possible. Since then, our parents, grandparents and great grandparents have been working hard to carry on her vision and her principles. And my generation will make sure we have a truly equal world.”

Cllr Simcock, Chair of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign, said: “Emmeline Pankhurst’s statue will represent her story and use her legacy to inspire people, particularly young people, which judging by the response from schools such as Newall Green Primary is already starting to take place.

“We wanted to carry forward this spirit and break with tradition by inviting a young person to speak in the council chambers about what this project means to them and Fatima’s words captured this perfectly.”

He added:  “After almost four years of work on the project to create a statue of a woman of significance to Manchester I am delighted that we have reached this next important milestone.

“We began with the support of people for the project’s vision, whether they voted or sponsored our early fundraising efforts. Then thanks to a combination of support from the Government’s Centenary Cities project and partners that include Property Alliance and Manchester Airport the funding was secured.

“On 6 February, the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, the Prime Minister Theresa May was shown a maquette of the design when she met with Helen Pankhurst’s great grand-daughter Helen Pankhurst.”

For further information on the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign visit

Cllr Simcock, Chair of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign, with pupils from Newall Green Primary School.



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