06 March 2020

Fisher Jessie plays starring role in Women's History Month statue campaign

Peterhead’s Fisher Jessie is playing a starring role in a nationwide campaign to celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. 

The campaign is being led by the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls which says that while women are still widely unrepresented in society, politics, sport, on boards – it is even the case on the street.

It has been found that statues celebrating important and pioneering women and their accomplishments are scarce across Scotland.

Out of the hundreds of statues throughout the country representing figures and contributors, only 20 portray named women and of those only 16 were named individuals and five commemorated Queen Victoria.

There are currently even more monuments to animals than to women in Edinburgh.

As part of Women’s History Month, a campaign is underway to highlight the inequality by showcasing some of the statues that do exist – including the statue of Fisher Jessie in the heart of Peterhead – and calls for better recognition of the women who have made a lasting impact through their bravery, intelligence and actions. 

Fisher Jessie has been adorned with a specially-customised #GenerationEqual sash for the weekend of International Women’s Day. 

Created by sculptor Andy Scott, Fisher Jessie celebrates the lives of women in the fishing community including the gutting quines who followed the herring fleet from Orkney to Yarmouth, and the wives and mothers who kept the home, baited lines, mended nets, carried their men onto the boats to keep their feet dry, walked miles to sell the catch and faced the daily fear that the sea could make them a widow before nightfall.

Andy is famous for working in steel and bronze, combining figurative and equine themes with contemporary techniques to create stunning landmark artworks. His most prominent project to date is The Kelpies, a pair of 100ft high, 300-tonne horse heads, sited in Falkirk and the ‘Poised’ sculpture in Aberdeen’s Marischal Square.

Fisher Jessie is a key feature on the Peterhead Trail which is being further developed in 2020 to include a new extension linking the town centre to Peterhead Prison Museum.