• Tererai Trent was named as one of the 10 most inspiring women in the world earlier this year.
  • This recognition comes with a life-size statue erected in her honour in New York.
  • Her statue has just been unveiled alongside nine women including media mogul Oprah Winfrey, Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett.

A life-size statue of Zimbabwean scholar Tererai Trent has been unveiled in New York. She was immortalised on August 26, 2019 in commemoration of Women’s Equality Day. 

She told BBC: “I’m just so humbled — it is unbelievable. Can you believe I am standing so tall in New York City? We know that 3% of statues in the city are female. My great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother — ha! — they would never have dreamt of something like this.”

Her statue went up alongside nine women; media mogul Oprah Winfrey, Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett, conservationist Jane Goodall, activist Janet Mock, chemist Tracy Dyson, author Cheryl Strayed, and Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.

All 10 women are being honored for fighting for gender equality for girls and women. They were earlier named as the 'World’s top 10 most inspiring women’ back in May.

The first "10 most inspiring women in the world" (statuesforequality)
The first "10 most inspiring women in the world" (statuesforequality)

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Trent, in particular, was denied education as a child growing up rural Zimbabwe (formerly known as Rhodesia) because of her gender.

“In the whole village, only men could read and count, and the majority of women could not. And yet some of these were brilliant women,” she told the BBC.

She was able to overcome several limitations in order to achieve her dream of gaining an education. She now holds her bachelors in agricultural education, a masters degree and PhD from the College of Public Health at Western Michigan University.

Now, the scholar and author is committed to giving back by providing quality education for girls and women in rural communities like hers. In her words, “We have a moral obligation, those of us able to achieve our dreams, to help others stand on our shoulders and provide that opportunity.”

Trent and the remaining nine women are the first ten to be sculpted by prominent Australian artists Gillie and Marc Schattner. They were chosen via a public vote as part of a global campaign — Statues For Equality — aimed at increasing the number of female statues globally.

The artists “hope that as the project expands, it will include a broader diversity of race, class, ability, sexual orientation and gender expression.”