Of the total 150 statues in New York city, only five are that of women. The city is now preparing to rectify this. A new initiative is working towards honouring women with a significant connection to New York. Not only this, the campaign is calling upon the public to make suggestions. With only Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Har­riet Tubman, there lies a big task ahead to add up more names to the list.

The She Built NYC campaign

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray and Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development, launched this campaign last month. A city website is asking residents to nominate a woman of historical significance for a new statue up until 1 August. She Built NYC will put relevant women on pedestals. The residents can also nominate a group or event to be honoured involving women of significance to the city.

Of the 1,000-plus monuments in New York, 150 are statues and only five are of real women

The world famous Statue of Liberty and Fearless Girl enlist statues of fictional female characters. However, when it comes to honouring women who’ve contributed immensely, the city has failed them. Of the five statues that are of women, none are in Central Park, where several male statues reside. The She Built NYC campaign seeks to amend this with time.

Meredith Maskara, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York,  told The Independent, “the reality is women have been contributing [for all of history] in significant ways but you wouldn’t know that by walking around or looking at the figures we see today”.

The city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, for the next four years, has committed about $10m to assist new permanent public monuments. This new monument of a woman will be funded through that allocation.

“The statues, plaques, and memorials around the city can either inspire young girls to dream big, or it can perpetuate the message that women have not contributed to society – something we know is untrue.” – Alicia Glen

The She Built NYC campaign is running until 1 August. After the deadline for nominations, a commission will review the submissions and a shortlist of nominees will be chosen. The final decision will be announced in January, 2019.

Also: Now Millicent Fawcett Stands Tall in London’s Parliament Square

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