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Zimbabwean scholar to be honoured with statue in New York

STATUES FOR EQUALITY: Zimbabwean scholar Tererai Trent is one of 10 inspiring women who will be honoured with life-sized monuments

A LIFE-SIZE statue of a Zimbwean scholar is to be erected in New York.

The bronze monument of Tererai Trent will be one of 10 statues of inspiring women placed in the city as part of a project to promote equal rights.

The monuments will be unveiled on August 26th, to coincide with Women’s Equality Day.

Growing up in rural Zimbabwe, Trent taught herself to read and write and dreamed of one day getting a PhD, a dream she made a reality after she moved to the US.

“Statues of Equality is set to launch in #NYC this summer. I am incredibly honored [sic] to be standing among the World's Top 10 Most Inspiring Women 'Sculpted for Equal Rights'! Come August 26 and celebrate the empowerment of women and big dreams! #StatuesForEquality,” Trent tweeted.

The women depicted in each statue stand in the middle of an oversized flower of their choosing. Trent, the author of three books, chose Zimbabwe’s national flower, the flame lily.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, gymnast Gabby Douglas, best-selling author and transgender activist Janet Mock, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Pink, Cheryl Strayed, Jane Goodall and Tracy Dyson will also be honoured with statues in the city.

Trent already has a special connection with Winfrey. The star donated $1.5 million to help her rebuild her school in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa is among those who have congratulated Trent on the honour.

“Congratulations Tererai Trent, who has been honoured as one of the 10 most inspiring women in the world, part of the 'Sculpted for Equal Rights' initiative. All the people of Zimbabwe are deeply proud of you and your work promoting equality and empowerment for girls and women,” he said.

Only five of New York City’s 150 statues depict real women – Harriet Tubman, Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein and Eleanor Roosevelt.

The lack of representation is what inspired the Statues for Equality project.

When husband and wife artist duo Gillie and Marc Schattner realised that of the 100 plus bronze sculptures they had been commissioned to create, only one was of a woman, they sought to redress the balance.

Marc Schattner said: “Statues can either perpetuate sexist ideologies, or they can inspire young girls and boys to change biases, aspirations and perceptions about women in leadership and in history.”

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