Statue of Emmeline Pankhurst

Rise Up Women
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[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 Campaign[edit]

The statue was created following a five-year project called the WoManchester Statue campaign.[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!"

On 30 July 2014 Manchester City Council gave its unanimous backing to Councillor Simcock's resolution that a 'statue of a woman of significance to Manchester' be created. Initially a twenty-strong list of women was compiled for consideration for the statue. 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. 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.[8]: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.[9] 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.[10][9] 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.[9] In July 2018, the Portland stone Pankhurst Meeting Circle, was unveiled, designed to encircle the bronze Emmeline.[11]

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).[12][8]: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.[8][13]

Maintenance of the statue[edit]

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

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. ^ a b c Antrobus, Helen; Simcock, Andrew (2019). First in the Fight. Manchester, UK: iNostalgia. ISBN 978-1-84547-252-8.
  9. ^ a b c Pidd, Helen (14 December 2018). "Thousands welcome Emmeline Pankhurst statue in Manchester". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Statue of Emmeline Pankhurst unveiled in Manchester today". Government of the United Kingdom. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  11. ^ Barlow, Nigel (16 July 2018). "Pankhurst Meeting Circle unveiled on Emmeline Pankhurst's 160th birthday". About Manchester. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Manchester's Emmeline Pankhurst statue gets Government backing". Stylist. January 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Event: First in the Fight – book launch". Manchester: People's History Museum. 14 November 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2020.