Central Park has 23 monuments to men, and will soon have its first one to women: The Women's Rights Pioneers Monument, newly redesigned and approved on Monday.

The approved statue design.

In July 2018, the Monumental Women Statue Fund (back then, seemingly, The Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund) announced that it would be bringing a statue featuring real women to the park. The original design depicted Stanton and Anthony, renowned suffragists who also leaned on racist rhetoric, unfurling a scroll with the names of 22 other suffragists inscribed on it. Only a handful of black women made that list, including Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and Mary Church Terrell.

And adding another layer of indignity, as Gloria Steinem pointed out, it looked almost as if Stanton and Anthony were standing on top of this scroll, stomping out the legacy of all these other activists who played prominent roles in the movement. Arguably an accurate metaphor for the whitewashing of suffragist history, but probably not the message the monument's designers were going for. They went back to the drawing board, and have now unveiled a design that places Sojourner Truth, the abolitionist and women's rights activist who gave the "Ain't I a Woman?" speech in 1851, at the table.

"With this statue we are finally breaking the bronze ceiling. It’s fitting that the first statue of real women in Central Park depicts three New York women who dedicated their lives to fighting for women’s rights,” said Pam Elam, President of Monumental Women. “This statue conveys the power of women working together to bring about revolutionary change in our society. It invites people to reflect not just on these women and their work for equality and justice, but on all the monumental women who came before us. We are pleased to have broken through every city bureaucratic barrier to make this happen."

The New York City Public Design Commission approved the preliminary design (by Meredith Bergmann), which features Truth, Stanton, and Anthony mid-discussion in Stanton's home, on Monday. According to a press release, the finished monument will be unveiled and dedicated on August 26th, 2020, in honor of the 100-year anniversary of women winning the right to vote.