The Parks Department will announce on Monday that it’s committed to putting up a monument to Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, two pioneers in the fight for women’s rights.
This is incredibly overdue! There are 23 statues devoted to historical men, and zero to women right now (there are some statues to fictional women, like Alice in Wonderland). A group called Monumental Women has been advocating for a statue, and raising money, for more than a year.
On Monday, politicians, city officials and even girl scouts will gather in Central Park to announce the site of the monument and to call for artist submissions.
The statue will be placed on the Mall, the wide walkway in the middle of the park that stretches from 66th to 72nd Street, according to the Parks Department.
The “Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Woman Suffrage Movement Monument” highlights the need for a history that accurate tells women’s stories. Elizabeth Cady Stanton authored the Declaration of Sentiments, a founding document of the American women’s rights movement that was first presented at 1848 Seneca Fall Conference. She met Susan B. Anthony shortly thereafter at an abolitionist meeting, and the two began a lifelong partnership that committed to equal rights for women. Together they founded The Revolution, a suffragist newspaper, and the National Woman Suffrage Association. Both women’s activities were centered in New York City and State.
Along with Stanton and Anthony, the monument will honor the memory of the many others who worked tirelessly to advance women’s rights, including Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Mary Church Terrell, Anna Howard Shaw and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. The Central Park site, with support from the Central Park Conservancy, has been selected in accordance with the dictates of the park’s original designers, Olmsted and Vaux, who identified two locations where commemorative sculpture should be sited in the park: entrances along the perimeter and The Mall. By placing the monument in this location many of the park’s nearly 42 million annual visitors will engage the historical work and planned related programming so to learn more about the many contributions these pioneers and others in the movement made.
Monday’s an auspicious date, the 100th anniversary of the election that gave women the right to vote in New York state. The statue is expected to be unveiled on another auspicious date in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the day women won the right to vote on a national level.