Today marks International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating women’s achievement and creating a more gender-equal world.
And it falls right in the middle of Women’s History Month, the perfect time to reflect on the women who have played a pivotal role in our culture, whether fighting tirelessly for the rights we enjoy today or carving out paths for women to be fully and unabashedly themselves.
Luckily, NYC gives you ample opportunity to do that, with statues, murals and other memorials highlighting incredible women and/or championing the power of women in general!
Here are some of our favorites, with a map at the end as well to make them easier to find!
1. Women’s Rights Leaders Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Central Park
This statue was unveiled this past summer…and it was the first one of real women in Central Park, ever! Previous statues in the park that represented women were fictional beings, like Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, and Juliet (with Romeo). But now, on the Park’s Mall/Literary Walk, you can view three icons integral to the women’s suffrage movement.
2. Harriet Tubman Statue: Harlem
This statue to trail-blazing abolitionist Harriet Tubman was dedicated in 2008, and sits at the crossroads of St. Nicholas Avenue, West 122nd Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem.
3. Mural of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: East Village
When iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader passed away this fall, NYC paid homage to her in many different ways, one of which was this stunning mural. The piece was curated by the public art charity LISA Project NYC, and painted by @ElleStreetArt, and can be found on the southwest corner of First Avenue and 11th Street.
Plus, there are two more statues of her coming later this year!
4. Marsha P. Johnson Mural: Astoria, Queens
The Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, Queens is a hidden wonderland of street art, spanning several blocks and featuring over 100 different artists (at Astoria Boulevard and 12th St.). Though the murals change periodically, you can still find this beautiful rendition of LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson among the vibrant colorful works of art. Ms. Johnson’s dedicated State Park in Williamsburg is also getting a colorful renovation this summer.
5. Eleanor Roosevelt Statue: Riverside Park, Upper West Side
This statue of Eleanor Roosevelt was dedicated in 1996, with former First Lady Hilary Clinton in attendance. While married to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor fought for human rights and social justice. You can see quotes that exemplify her work around the monument.
6. Gertrude Stein Statue: Bryant Park, Midtown
An author, poet, playwright, and more, literary wonder Gertrude Stein is honored in Bryant Park, also right near the New York Public Library.
7. Frida Kahlo Mural: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
This work by street art master Eduardo Kobra features legendary artist Frida Kahlo, her face intertwined with her husband Diego Rivera. It’s located at 360 Prospect Place. Kahlo’s work was known as a bold and colorful reflection of her identity, with themes of gender, disability, politics and Mexican culture fiercely running throughout.
Plus, the iconic artist is also featured in Kobra’s take on Mount Rushmore at 210 10th Ave.
8. Mother Teresa Mural: Chelsea
In this vibrant mural (also by Eduardo Kobra) that can be viewed perfectly from The High Line in Chelsea, humanitarian and modern-day saint Mother Teresa is featured with Gandhi. It’s entitled “Tolerance,” featuring two iconic figures of peace.
These last two aren’t specific figures, but rather symbolic portraying the strength of women.
9. Fearless Girl Statue: Broad St.
This statue was originally installed for International Women’s Day in 2017, and has since become a permanent figure near Wall St. (though it moved from its original location to now be in front of the New York Stock Exchange).
While this statue turned a few heads when it was installed across from the NYC Courts this fall, it actually is quite symbolic in more ways than one. The work, which “inverts the narrative of Medusa, portraying her in a moment of somberly empowered self-defense,” also became a symbol of the modern “me too” movement when the artist first posted it on social media. The location across from the courthouse is quite poignant, as it is where Harvey Weinstein was convicted.
You can only catch it through April of this year, so be sure to head there soon if you haven’t already!
featured image source: Instagram / @nyclovesnyc