When tour guide Terry Cordaro walks around Washington, D.C., she does her best to explain to visitors from all over the world to importance and significance of the monuments which are a vital part of this city’s identity. Cordaro doesn’t see much statues devoted to women here in the capital of democracy.
Cordaro, a USA Guided Tours guide, has been showing people the Capitol for more than 20 year.
Cordaro, who was standing near Jane Delano’s statue outside Red Cross headquarters, stated that buildings in the city would not be as functional without them.
Jane Delano, one of the few statues in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to women. Delano Roosevelt’s cousin, was responsible for creating the American Red Cross nursing section.
Cordaro described the memorial as she walked by, explaining that Delano’s cloak shows her presence as a welcoming presence for those who are in need.
Jane Delano’s statue is important because none of the 44 memorials in D.C. are specifically focused on females.
“It’s a reflection of our society has been in the past. It was the old way. Women had a quieter role. They weren’t given a voice,” Cordaro said. “We need to tell the story how it really is. Young men and girls need role models. We must show them that women can be leaders. We need to respect them and honor their traditions.”
Across the country, it’s a similar story. An estimated 5,100 statues are on display across the country. Only 394 of these statues are female.
Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota is trying to change that status quo.
“It is about women’s leadership and women who have been overlooked,” Klobuchar said in a recent interview.
A rare bipartisan effort by Sen. Klobuchar, Klobuchar introduced a bill to place monuments of Ruth Bader Bader Ginsburg as well as Sandra Day O’Connor inside the Capitol. Although the bill is aimed at the Capitol, Senator Klobuchar hopes that it will spark conversations in local communities about the possibility of adding statues or monuments to honor other women.
“We’re supposed to be setting the tenor for the country and I think it will make people think about this differently. The senator said, “Imagine what little girls think when they come to the Capitol.”
The proposed bill has the support of more than 20 senators including a dozen Democrats, three Republicans and several Democrats. In the weeks ahead, the legislation will be presented in the House before likely getting a vote.
“There’s every reason to believe we will be adding more of these statues, but we better get started because we have a lot of history to make up for,” Klobuchar said.