Exciting news: Central Park has finally unveiled a statue commemorating real-life women—the first of its kind in Central Park's 160-year history. The statue is called the Women's Rights Pioneers Monument and pays tribute to Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth. The only other female statues featured in the park (opens in new tab) are fictional characters, such as Alice in Wonderland and Juliet from Romeo and Juliet. The statue comes during the same week that our country honors the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. (This, however, didn't originally include all women.)
It took seven years for the monument to finally get a spot in the park. The Monumental Women organization said they received over 1,000 donations to fund the statue. One of the groups who donated was a Girl Scouts troop who put their cookie money towards the bronze monument, per Forbes (opens in new tab).
The Women’s Rights Pioneers statue unveiled in @CentralParkNYC. Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. @MonumentalWomen pic.twitter.com/me7hJKcFTZAugust 26, 2020
"I am honored to stand here today in Central Park on Women's Equality Day as three trailblazing women will be forever cemented into the fabric of our city. Women's equality starts with representation," said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney at the unveiling ceremony on August 26. "While the path towards equality is a long one, we cannot forget the women whose shoulders we stand on; Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the countless others who risked their lives, protested, and were arrested all for gender equity. This statue serves as a constant reminder for all of us to continue the fight."
Other guests in attendance include former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who spoke on the importance of the 19th Amendment, but how its passing didn't apply to everyone.
"Because while the passage of the 19th Amendment was a critical, important, historic victory, it was also an incomplete one. It would take decades longer to guarantee the franchise for women of color, especially Black and Native American women," said Clinton. "A century later, the struggle to enforce the right to vote continues."
She also spoke on the importance of equal voting rights for all Americans and how that fight isn't over. "We're still fighting so that every eligible American can cast their ballot, and know their vote will be counted, regardless of race, age, or geography. As Sojourner, Susan, and Elizabeth understood, we are all freer when every one of us is free. Our democracy belongs to all of us."
Before you see the statue in person (or virtually), make sure you're registered to vote by clicking here (opens in new tab).
Bianca Rodriguez is the Fashion & Luxury Commerce Manager at Hearst Magazines, covering fashion, beauty, and more for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Town & Country. She likes lounging about with a good book and thinks a closet without platform sneakers is a travesty.
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