Women lawmakers, activists rally behind ‘Fearless Girl’ statue, hope to keep her near Wall St. forev

Source: New York Daily News

By Dale W. Eisinger, Denis Slattery

A movement to help the “Fearless Girl” stand her ground is growing.

Elected officials and activists said Saturday that the inspiring statue squaring off against the famed Wall St. bull should be a permanent installation.

The bronze likeness of a small girl with her hands on her hips installed near Bowling Green on the eve of International Women’s Day has become a symbol of gender equality for many.

“This statue has touched hearts across the world, with its symbolic depiction of the resiliency of women,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney. “Here we have a little girl facing a charging bull. Yet she is determined, she is strong, she is defiant.”

The girl, placed there by State Street Corporation, was originally granted a weeklong permit that has now been extended to a month. The company said it was meant to celebrate “the power of women in leadership.”

Fans of “Fearless Girl” have flocked to the statue during its installation.

Valerie Delangle, 8, stopped by with her mother Saturday and agreed with the lawmakers.

“I think that she should stay here forever,” she said. “I would describe her as brave.”

Valerie’s mom, Kathy Paul, 48, who works in finance, agreed.

“I work in a male-dominated field and seeing something like this is a powerful statement,” she said. “It represents an environment for me and my daughter that is hopefully better because of symbols like this.”

A pair of online petitions also calling for an extension have drawn more than 40,000 signatures.

Maloney was joined by Council Member Margaret Chin and Katharine Siemionko, the organizer of the New York Women’s March.

“Seeing ‘Fearless Girl’ boldly standing her ground here on Wall Street is an important inspiration to all,” Chin said. “She sends an important message of hope to generations of girls who will grow up with confidence knowing that they too will succeed and thrive in a male-dominated sector and career.”

The statue, created by artist Kristen Visbal, was only supposed to stay for a week, but Mayor de Blasio said it will remain until April 2. A spokewoman for the mayor told the Daily News earlier in the week there were no plans to extend the permit.

Public Advocate Letitia James earlier in the week said that given the “huge gender gap” on corporate boards the city should keep the little girl for the long haul, as a “symbol of feminism and equality.”