Manchester Metropolitan University

Staff and students joining march to witness unveiling of Manchester’s Emmeline Pankhurst statue

Sculpture in St Peter’s Square is tribute to iconic leader of Suffragette movement

The statue of Emmeline Pankhurst will be only the second of a woman in Manchester's city centre

The statue of Emmeline Pankhurst will be only the second of a woman in Manchester's city centre

Staff and students from Manchester Metropolitan will join the huge crowds expected in Manchester’s St Peter’s Square on Friday, December 14, for the unveiling of the Emmeline Pankhurst statue.

The statue, commissioned by Manchester City Council and sculpted by artist Hazel Reeves, will be unveiled on the 100th anniversary of some women voting for the first time in a British General Election.

The project was conceived, and has been led and directed by Councillor Andrew Simcock, Chair of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign. Funded by corporate sponsorship, the statue will depict Emmeline Pankhurst standing on a chair and delivering a speech, facing out towards the Free Trade Hall - a venue for radical Suffragette campaigning in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Born in Manchester in 1858, Emmeline was the leader of the British Suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. Her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in the UK.

Speaking at Manchester Metropolitan’s Business School earlier this year, Visiting Professor Helen Pankhurst, a leading women’s rights campaigner and great granddaughter of Emmeline, said: “It is symbolically important that the statue of Emmeline is in Manchester.

“I’ve always felt that sense that the connection between the Pankhurst family is much stronger in Manchester than it is in most places so it is very fitting that the statue will be on display in the city.”

For Manchester Metropolitan’s Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre, the statue unveiling marks the culmination of a year of events organised to celebrate the centenary of some women gaining the right to vote.

It is symbollically important that the statue of Emmeline is in Manchester.

The Centre will join 18 female professors from across the University to lead staff and students on one of two official marches making their way to St Peter’s Square for the unveiling. The University marchers will be meeting at 11.15am on Friday, December 14, in All Saints Park at the centre of Manchester Metropolitan's All Saints campus. 

Dr Kate Cook, Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Law School and Head of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre, said: “This will be a great event to celebrate a historic moment in Manchester’s history. The statue of Emmeline - only the second of a woman in the city centre - will be a permanent tribute to a pioneer and leader of the Suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote.”

The Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre is part of the Centre for Decent Work and Productivity at Manchester Metropolitan, focussing on conditions that support - or constrain - decent and productive work and the role of diversity in gender and diversity.

Find out more about the Centre and the University’s events that have marked the centenary of some women gaining the right to vote.

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