Many people haven’t heard of feminist and human rights icon Mary Wollstonecraft, but campaigners are half way to changing that thanks to a £3000 award from the Henry Moore Foundation.
Since 2011, the Mary on the Green campaign group has been raising funds to erect a statue of the 18th Century activist and writer on Newington Green, where she lived and worked. The recent donation means they have received over half of the £143,000 needed for the sculpture, designed by acclaimed artist Maggi Hambling CBE.
Bee Rowlatt, chairman of the campaign, said “Mary Wollstonecraft was arguably the first feminist. Not only did she advocate votes for women a hundred years before the Suffragettes, but she was also a very early architect of what we now called Human Rights. She took a stand before the terminology was there.”
The campaign has received many small donations but as yet no support from the government.
Rowlatt believes it is about time Wollstonecraft’s legacy was recognised: “it shouldn’t be this hard to celebrate a British icon. Yet there isn’t a significant memorial to her anywhere. This is a woman that was quoted by the second president of the United States.”
Donations can be made on Mary On The Green’s website.