Interesting facts about statues of women

Interesting facts about statues of women

Things most people don't know about famous statues of women around the world

Judyanne Wanjiku


The statue of liberty was originally supposed to be a woman of color. The statue, given to America by France as a gift for helping them attain independence, was supposed to signify a black woman and the broken chains on its feet were to represent freedom from slavery. The statue was a sign of friendship between the two nations. It was later made from untreated copper and has since turned dull green due to oxidation. Her spiky hat is symbolic. Each of the seven spikes on her crown represents the seven oceans and the seven continents of the world.


Popularly known as The Valiant Five, Emily Murphy, Irene Marryat Parlby, Nellie Mooney McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards were women from Alberta who became famous for asking the Supreme Court of Canada "if the word ‘Persons’ in the British North America Act, include female persons?" They started the women’s rights movement in Canada in 1920s, because at that time women weren’t allowed to vote. Inscribed on one of the tablets are the words "Women are persons... Les femmes sont des personnes..." Until this monument was installed on Parliment Hill, the only people honoured by statues here were dead prime ministers, monarchs and fathers of confederation.


Also referred to as Monument De La Renaissance Africaine, the statue is located on a hill outside Dakar. It is 164-feet and it depicts a man with a bare, ripped torso holding an infant aloft in one arm and guiding a woman with the other; "The infant points ahead to indicate the glorious future, while the woman extends her arm behind to acknowledge the troubled past." Her hair is swept back by the wind, as are her garments flow behind her. The monument was praised as not just a representation of Senegal and it's people but also of the people of Africa and their ancestors. It is the tallest statue in the African continent. At 164-feet the statue is not only taller than the Statue of liberty(151-feet) but also taller than the Christ Redeemer(130-ft).

Few people understood why a statue celebrating African freedom and renaissance had to be built by foreign nationals and it actually caused an uproar among people in Senegal. There were also some who took offense at the scantily clad woman revealing part of her breasts and thighs, calling it a sacrilege against Muslim culture especially in an overwhelmingly muslim nation.


The Bronze Woman Statue was erected in the Stockwell Memorial Gardens. It is a 10-ft statue of a woman holding a baby up in the air. It was the first public statue of a black woman in England. It was designed after Cécile Nobrega who was a Guyanese poet, writer, musician, scholar, artist, text-book writer among other things. The statue was inspired by a poem she wrote, "Bronze Woman" that was in honour of women in the Caribbean community. It took Cécilia 10 years to campaign and source funding to set up this mark of the journey of Afro-Carribean women.


Standing at 171-ft tall, the statue is one of the largest in the world and the largest statues of a woman, as she holds a sword 108-ft up in the air as she's commemorating the Battle of Starlingrad, a World War II fight that saw over a million deaths that occurred and the Soviet victory where the red army defeated German troops. The statue weighed 8,000 tons. It's name literally translates to ‘the Motherland that gave birth to me is calling,’ referring to the allegorical Mother Russia. The 200 steps at the bottom signify the 200 days of battle the Starlingrad endured.

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