October 11, 2016: A Girl Scout troop in New York is raising awareness and funds for the first statue of a woman in New York City’s famed Central Park.
If you discount fictional characters like Mother Goose and Alice in Wonderland, all the 23 statues or busts of real humans in the park honour famous men.
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“There are no statues of women, and there’s tons of men,” says Pippa Lee, 10, a scout with Manhattan’s Girl Scout Troop 3484. “We really need a woman’s statue for girls to look up to, not just Mother Goose or Alice in Wonderland. They don’t count.”
The girls have joined activists raising money for a park monument to two women who revolutionised the country: suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
“We’re trying to crack the bronze ceiling,” deadpans Pamela Elam, who is spearheading the effort along with Stanton’s great-great-granddaughter, Coline Jenkins.
So far collective efforts have raised $150,000 of the $500,000 needed to create and maintain the monument.
During one weekly scout meeting in Central Park, the fifth-graders collected $123 from passers-by on a sidewalk near the future statue site, while chanting “Where are the women?” Sunflowers graced the girls’ hair, a symbol of the suffrage movement that began its march to victory with a convention in upstate New York in 1848.
The Girl Scouts plan to collect donations on Thursdays until winter. (VOA)