A SERIES of memorials and sculptures commemorating Scotland's forgotten and unsung heroines should be erected around the country, according to a leading feminist campaigner.

The call from Adele Patrick, founder of Glasgow Women's Library, comes as the campaign for a statue in Glasgow commemorating the socialist firebrand Mary Barbour took a significant step forward, with five shortlisted sculptures by artist Morag McLean, Mark Longworth, Andrew Brown, Roddy McDowall and Kenny Mackay unveiled.

It is hoped that one will be commissioned in the New Year, and the Barbour statue sited at Govan Cross later in 2016. The campaign to have the woman behind Glasgow's infamous rent strikes recognised has received popular support, with high profile funders including Sir Alex Ferguson and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Elish Angiolini, the former Lord Advocate who was raised in Govan, giving it their backing.

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But with hundreds of statues of men and just 20 statues of women across Scotland, Adele Patrick of Glasgow Women's Library (GWL), said that successful completion of a Mary Barbour statue should open the floodgates to a host of visible memorials to the nation's heroines, who have been obscured by history.

In 1915 Barbour, a key figure in the Red Clydeside movement, convinced an "army" of women to oppose landlord enforced rent hikes in a move that led parliament to later pass the Rent Restriction Act.

"It's very exciting that the Mary Barbour proposal has reached this stage," said Partick. "It's an issue that we first started flagging up more than eight years back when we started looking at our Women in History [project].

"Women we spoke to really wanted to address the lack of recognition that marked women's contribution to society. Since then we've been developing walking tours, maps and apps and the natural conclusion of that is to have lots of markers to women around the city and beyond.

"The Mary Barbour statue is coming at a perfect time. But just because we are now going to have that one, we cannot say the job is done. This statue of Mary should open the door to looking at other markers to the city's many heroines."

Patrick said that the library had already opened talks with Glasgow City Council about making a plaque marking the Suffragette Oak, planted 100 years ago in Glasgow's Kelvingrove Park, more visible. Last month the the oak was named Scotland's Tree of the Year by the Woodland Trust Scotland.

She would also like to see a plaque to mark the little-known former Suffragette tearoom in Sauchiehall Street, as well as public art works commemorate other women including Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh - an artist better known as the wife of Charles Rennie MacIntosh - Maggie McIvor, founder of the Barras Market, and social justice campaigner "Battling Betty" McAllistair.

"We're not thinking of lots of monuments of women up on pedestals or mounted on horse back," she said. "We would want to look at the most appropriate way to mark the women in history without falling back on the monolithic cultural representations and I think often artists are the best people to judge and I'm really pleased that they have been so involved in the brief for the Mary Barbour sculpture.

"The push has to be for new markers in the civic landscape. This would give us a chance to say Glasgow could be a place where locals and visitors alike see these markers across the city and see that this is a city that celebrates its women. I think it is unbelievably empowering for girls - and boys - to grow up with the knowledge that women can do great things and can change the world."

Dr Tara S. Beall, lead artist and researcher for Govan's Hidden Histories, a collaborative project with Govanites and Glasgow Museums backed her call. She said: "I think having a statue honouring Mary Barbour is a pivotal moment in Glasgow's history.

"I think its important to reflect how many other women in Glasgow's history deserve remembering and honouring. As part of the Govan's Hidden Histories project we researched and tried to recover the stories and voices of women working in and around protest movements in Govan.

"What came across strongly was that Mary Barbour was leading an ‘army’ of strong women, who helped her to organise a movement. Next through the gates I'd like to see Helen Crawfurd and Agnes Dollan who literally went on from the Rent Strikes to be influential - and shape public policy - throughout their lives."

Councillor John Kane said the new statue of Mary Barbour, which he hopes will act as a focal point for a growing 'heritage trail' in the city could be a catalyst for other communities to recognise significant women. She said:"Mary Barbour started something really significant 100 years ago. There absolutely are other women who should and could be recognised. We all have our local heroine."

But Dr Catriona Burness, a freelance historian who has been working with the Remember Mary Barbour campaign, said it was important that the statue of Mary Barbour was secured first before looking to celebrate others.

"We wanted this statue not because she was a woman but quite simply because of her great achievements," she added. "Her role in the rent strikes was what made her a hero. That brought her forward as someone who could speak to so many different people, from the shipyard owners to the women in the back courts."

Barbour went on to address many "modern" concerns, said Burness, campaigning for the foundation of Glasgow's first birth control centre - which addressed both her concerns with health and housing, as well as working to ensure children could access play areas and whole communities had better living standards including washhouses and better quality food. She stood down as a councillor in 1931 and died in 1958.