My first reaction was, how are there no women here? This is just ridiculous – genuine disbelief was what I felt. Women are underrepresented in all sorts of spaces but, in such a high profile space, it was just incredibly shocking that someone hadn’t thought to address this.
Female representation is incredibly important. It’s important to me, but it's important to society – there is no doubt that the fact that we don’t see women, from popular culture to the built environment, to business, to politics, has an impact on ordinary women’s lives because it means that the people making the decisions are:
a) Not women
And b) not thinking about women.
And so when policy gets passed, when things get designed, they get designed based on what men need and what men think, and what men want and male bodies. I know that it’s important and I know that it’s a problem and I know that there is a gap in female representation – but given the conversations that we’ve been having over the past ten years, with the resurgence of feminist activism being this big public conversation, I just found it inconceivable that no one had noticed this.
This incredibly high profile square that obviously has a huge importance and a huge meaning and is a place where people gather to protest, opposite parliament where all the decisions get made and all the laws get made – it was just shocking, it was really, really shocking. I stopped and I just had to go and count because I just really thought that it couldn’t possibly be that I was the first person to notice this in 2016.