Statue of Emmeline Pankhurst

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Rise up, women
'Our Emmeline'
Statue of Emmeline Pankhurst - December 2018 (3).jpg
ArtistHazel Reeves
LocationManchester, M2 3AE
United Kingdom
Coordinates53°28′40″N 2°14′35″W / 53.47778°N 2.24306°W / 53.47778; -2.24306Coordinates: 53°28′40″N 2°14′35″W / 53.47778°N 2.24306°W / 53.47778; -2.24306

The statue of Emmeline Pankhurst (officially called Rise up, women, and also known as Our Emmeline[1]) is a bronze sculpture in St Peter's Square, Manchester, depicting Emmeline Pankhurst, a British political activist and leader of the suffragette movement in the United Kingdom. Hazel Reeves sculpted the figure[2] and designed the Meeting Circle[3] that surrounds it.

The statue was unveiled on 14 December 2018, the centenary of the 1918 United Kingdom general election, the first election in the United Kingdom in which women over the age of 30 could vote.[4] It is the first statue honouring a woman erected in Manchester since a statue of Queen Victoria was dedicated more than 100 years ago.[5][6]

The WoManchester Statue Project[edit]

The statue was created following a five-year campaign called the WoManchester Statue Project.[7] This was led by Manchester City Councillor Andrew Simcock. He had initiated the campaign following a meeting in March 2014 with his friend Anne-Marie Glennon in the Sculpture Hall in Manchester Town Hall. Over coffee she had commented "these (busts) are all men. Where are the women!"[8]

Simcock’s campaign was also inspired by a craftivism exhibition held at Manchester Town Hall during February and March 2014.[9][10] Frustrated by the gender imbalance in Manchester's civic statues, Warp & Weft (artist Helen Davies and heritage researcher Jenny White) devised the Stature project, yarnbombing eight male portrait busts with crochet masks depicting local historical women of achievement.[11]

Councillor Simcock invited Warp & Weft to restage their exhibition on 30 July 2014, the day Manchester City Council gave its unanimous backing to his resolution that a 'statue of a woman of significance to Manchester' be created.[12]

Initially a twenty-strong list of women was compiled for consideration for the statue:[13]

In June 2015 Councillor Simcock cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats in twenty stages, each one devoted to one of the women on the list.[14]

A shortlist was created in the autumn of 2015 and Emmeline Pankhurst was decisively selected following a vote by thousands of people across the world.[15]: 60–77 

Sculptor Hazel Reeves and descendant Helen Pankhurst at the unveiling

The unveiling was attended by 6,000 people including many who had marched from the Pankhurst Centre near Manchester Royal Infirmary.[16] It was here, as the then home of the Pankhurst family, that the Women's Social and Political Union had been formed.

The event marked exactly 100 years since the first women voted and stood as candidates in a general election.[17][16] Two marches started from two symbolic locations – the People's History Museum and the Pankhurst Centre – ending up at St Peter's Square, which was attended by 6,000 people including 1,000 local schoolchildren.[16] In July 2018, the Portland stone Pankhurst Meeting Circle, was unveiled, designed to encircle the bronze Emmeline.[18]

The statue was funded by corporate sponsors Manchester Airport Group and Property Alliance Group and from the sale of a limited number of bronze maquettes of the statue. A significant donation also came from the Government's Centenary Fund (Centenary Cities).[19][15]: 60–77 

First In the Fight[edit]

In November 2019 a book was published chronicling the history of the WoManchester Statue Campaign and the twenty women on the original long list for consideration. First in the Fight by Helen Antrobus and Andrew Simcock contains essays on all twenty women plus the history of the campaign.[15][20]

Maintenance of the statue[edit]

The WoManchester Statue campaign specifically set out to raise money covering the maintenance of the statue.


In 2021 the statue won the Public Statues and Sculpture Association (PSSA) Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Emmeline – my statue by Hazel Reeves". Hazel Reeves.
  2. ^ Britton, Paul (30 August 2018). "It's our Emmeline – and she's a step closer to taking pride of place in Manchester". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  3. ^ Barlow, Nigel (16 July 2018). "Pankhurst Meeting Circle unveiled On Emmeline Pankhurst's 160th birthday". About Manchester. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Suffragette statues mark 100 years of women's first vote". BBC News. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst to get Manchester statue". BBC News. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  6. ^ Britton, Paul (14 December 2018). "Hundreds expected to join march as statue of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst unveiled in Manchester". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  7. ^ "The Womanchester Statue Project". Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  8. ^ Simcock, Andrew (1 August 2014). "Manchester is finally going to redress the imbalance in statues of women". Guardian Online. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  9. ^ Williams, Jennifer (27 June 2014). "Manchester needs a second statue to recognise inspirational women - who do you think it should be?". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  10. ^ White, Jenny, The Stature Project, in Sutherland, Ella Louise; Mørk Røstvik, Camilla (2015). Suffragette Legacy: How does the History of Feminism Inspire Current Thinking in Manchester. Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 1-4438-8033-7.
  11. ^ Feld, Kate (27 February 2011). "Warp & Weft exhibition 2014: Equality in crochet form". Creative Tourist. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  12. ^ Penny, Sam (30 July 2014). "Green light for Manchester's second female statue as councillor pledges to raise funds by cycling length of UK". Mancunian Matters. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Women Longlist". The Womanchester Statue Project. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  14. ^ "Cycle update- Meet the team". The Womanchester Statue Project. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  15. ^ a b c Antrobus, Helen; Simcock, Andrew (2019). First in the Fight. Manchester, UK: iNostalgia. ISBN 978-1-84547-252-8.
  16. ^ a b c Pidd, Helen (14 December 2018). "Thousands welcome Emmeline Pankhurst statue in Manchester". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  17. ^ "Statue of Emmeline Pankhurst unveiled in Manchester today". Government of the United Kingdom. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  18. ^ Barlow, Nigel (16 July 2018). "Pankhurst Meeting Circle unveiled on Emmeline Pankhurst's 160th birthday". About Manchester. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  19. ^ "Manchester's Emmeline Pankhurst statue gets Government backing". Stylist. January 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Event: First in the Fight – book launch". Manchester: People's History Museum. 14 November 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  21. ^ "The 2021 PSSA Marsh Awards Winners". Public Statues and Sculpture Association. Retrieved 12 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)