Previously, only five statues out of 150 in New York City represented women. The new installations under 'Statues for Equality' are meant to mark women's contributions to society.
Rendering people in stone has historically been seen as a way to preserve the memory and respect of certain individuals — cultural symbols that immortalize them and commemorate their contributions. However, the world has recently realised that most of these statues are of men.
As a testament to the inequality faced by those part of the "second sex", people recently started noticing the absolute skew in the ratio of statues built for men and women in most major cities of the world.
For example, only three percent of New York's statues so far represented real women. According to Australian collaborative artist couple Gillie and Marc Schattner, this was a huge problem as it undercut the contributions of women in history and society.
To rectify the problem, the couple set out on an ambitious project called "Statues for Equality". They created ten bronze sculptures of women, including astronaut Tracy Dyson, Oprah Winfrey, actress Nicole Kidman, Zimbabwean scholar Tererai Trent, gymnast Gabby Douglas, primatologist Jane Goodall and musician Pink among others.
The statues were unveiled on August 26, a day celebrated as Women's Equality Day in the US to mark the day American women got the right to vote.
The women chosen for the statues were also the result of a public vote.
There is a total of 150 statues amid the 1000-odd sculptures in all five borougghs of NYC. Previously, only five of them were women: Joan of Arc, Israel's first woman Prime Minister Golda Meir, writer Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The ten new statues were installed on Sixth Avenue.
Some of the women who has now been set in bronze took to Twitter to share the moment.
The first push toward toward giving women more space in statues was the unveiling of 'Fearless Girl' in 2017, the diminutive yet brave little girl in Bronze on Wall Street to represent women in the finance sector.
The effort may kick off the beginning of an era of building for equality the world over.
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