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Manchester High School for Girls

HEAD MISTRESS BACKS PANKHURST STATUE FOR MANCHESTER

The Head Mistress of Manchester High School for Girls is backing a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst for the city.

Mrs Claire Hewitt said that the Manchester High School community was thrilled to hear that the famous suffragette leader has made it onto the short list for the city’s first female statue in over a century.

Mrs Hewitt said: “Founded in 1874, Manchester High was the first school in the north of England to be concerned with providing an academic education to girls.

“Our pioneering spirit soon became well-known across the region and in 1893, Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union, enrolled her three daughters, Christabel, Sylvia and Adela, at Manchester High.

“The statue is set to be unveiled in 2019 and to see Emmeline Pankhurst proudly looking over our city would be a most fitting tribute.

As part of national Parliament Week (16th – 22nd November) pupils at Manchester High will be encouraged to vote in the online poll for the statue.

Mrs Hewitt commented: “Obviously the vast majority of our girls are not of voting age; however opportunities like this are a great way to get them connected with the democratic process and to think about what it really means to exercise their rights.”

Nominated alongside Emmeline Pankhurst is Victorian novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell; anti-racism campaigner, Louise da-Cocodia; Manchester’s first female councillor, Margaret Ashton; Elizabeth Raffaid, 18th century entrepreneur and Ellen Wilkinson, Labour cabinet minister.

Despite the outstanding achievements of all members of the shortlist, sixth former, Alice is sure that Emmeline Pankhurst will undoubtedly be the favourite with the Manchester High students.  

Alice commented: “All of the girls at school are so proud to be following in the footsteps of the Pankhurst family who were instrumental in the women’s suffrage campaign. They mean a lot to us as a School and a lot to Manchester as a city.

“We recently attended the northern premiere of the Suffragette film. This brought to life the heartbreak and passion of those who risked everything so that women today are free to exercise the same democratic rights as men.”

The online poll closes at the end of the December and the public can cast their vote at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/WoManchesterStatue.