March 16, 2021 9:40 pm
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Categories: Australia Epoch Times gender equality JoshWho News Queensland statues World

Girl’s Push for More Female Statues in Public Spaces Garners State Government Support

The Queensland government has thrown its backing behind a nine-year-old girls push to have more female public statues, pictures, and plaques across the state.

In a post on Facebook, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called Malia Knox, a “young woman making big changes.”

“Thanks to Malia’s advocacy, we’ve amended the framework for monuments to make sure diversity is considered when commissioning new statues, pictures, or plaques so more women are represented,” Palaszczuk wrote.

Queensland Attorney-general Shannon Fentiman is also supportive of the changes. Fentiman said that there are only three statues of women in Brisbane and applauded Knox for her efforts in raising the issue with the government and authorities.

“It’s fantastic to see young Queenslanders like Malia are passionate about gender equality, speaking out and calling for change,” Fentiman said in a statement.

“We know there is a huge disparity between male and female representation across our public monuments thanks to Malia’s work on her #femalefaces4publicplaces project,” she said.

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Queensland minister Shannon Fentiman and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Brisbane, Australia, on March 15, 2021. (Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Knox called on the Queensland government through her FemaleFaces4PublicFaces initiative, created with the help of her mother, who is a member of Queensland Teachers’ Union, “to pass a law, similar to one in San Francisco, that mandates 50/50 gender representation on statues, pictures, and plaques in public.”

In 2018 San Francisco acknowledged that the cities public statues were overwhelmingly male. As a result, the city government passed a new law requiring that at least 30 percent of artworks installed on city streets depict real-life women.

In a letter to the Queensland government, Knox wrote that she was “horrified” when visiting a display of the 100 Queensland Greats Awards and only a quarter of the plaques were dedicated to women.

“I don’t want young girls like me who are constantly seeing important men to start believing that only men are important,” she wrote in the letter (pdf).”When young girls can’t see important, accomplished women in public life, it starts to feel like it’s impossible to become one,” she said.

“I always say ‘you can’t be what you can’t see,” Fentiman echoed the sentiment. “And if we can honour women’s achievements and have them on display for young girls everywhere, then we are helping to show young girls that they can do anything.”

Malia’s campaign to the Queensland parliament has so far received nearly 800 signatures.

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