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"Fearless Girl" statue by Kristen Visbal, Wall Street, New York City. Anthony Quintano / Flickr
Girls & Women

New York City Wants Your Ideas for Its First Women's History Monument

Let’s hear it for the girls! Or, rather, let’s see something.

A new public monument honoring the contributions women have made toward the Big Apple will be commissioned by a new initiative called She Built NYC, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray announced at a June 20 press conference, according to AM New York.

Take action: Tell World Leaders to Redouble Their Efforts By Amending Laws to Prevent Sexual Violence

“Public monuments should not make us question our worth,” McCray said while announcing the new project in Bryant Park, AM New York reported. “They should accurately represent our history and inspire us to realize our potential. There are already so many forces at work in our society telling girls and women that we are not important.”

This is a day we finally start putting women where they belong — on pedestals.

To date, roughly 90% of statues in the city pay tribute to men, according to Alicia Glen, the city’s deputy mayor for housing and economic development, noted the report. The new She Built NYC initiative will spend up to $10 million on a work celebrating a more diverse group of denizens.

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“This is a day we finally start putting women where they belong — on pedestals,” Glen said at the conference.

Some in attendance at the announcement were prepared with suggestions. Actress Condola Rashad intends to nominate Audre Lorde, a former state poet laureate known for her feminist and civil rights work, AM New York reported. Meanwhile, The Girl Scout Leadership Institute will champion Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts, for consideration.

New York residents can submit their suggestions at women.nyc until August 1, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

The launch of She Built NYC follows a recommendation made by the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, after examining controversial memorials on city property.

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The commission has to date removed a single statue — of the 19th-century physician J. Marion Sims, who performed gynecological experiments on enslaved black women — but it in turn advised erecting future statues that honor “overlooked communities and histories,” reported Artnet News.

Global Citizen campaigns to achieve the UN’s Global Goals, which include action on gender equality. You can join us by taking action here in support of the #LeveltheLaw campaign, which calls on world leaders to put an end to laws that discriminate against girls and women.