Not having enough statues of iconic women is a monumental oversight

Why are there so few public statues of historical female achievers? Is it that subjects are thin on the ground, or that erecting monumental statues is itself a very male thing — or is there something else going on, asks Sue de Groot

02 August 2020 - 00:01

If it took only a month to carve a monumental statue, perhaps there would be more stone tributes to historic female figures in SA. Every August, to mark “women’s month”, sculptors could turn their chisels to women.

But it is not lack of time on the part of artists that has created a dearth of women in the world of statuary. Nor is their absence entirely due to a lack of interest. Other forces — financial, political and cultural — have contributed to the glaring absence of granite grannies and marble mothers on public plinths. SA is not the only country with a gender imbalance in historical statues, nor are we by any means the worst. According to Look Up London, in the UK only 2.7% of statues show women who aren’t either mythical, royalty or religious figures...

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