The nonprofit group Woman on 20’s is running a U.S. campaign to put a woman on the $20 bill. This reminds us of the UK controversy when the Bank of England decided to replace Charles Darwin with Jane Austen on the £10 note. It’s disappointing that women and ethnic minorities still haven’t featured on currency in either country – other than the Queen who holds a hereditary title. This campaign highlights a great opportunity as the US will soon be marking the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
At Female Breadwinners, our vote in the US is for Wilma Mankiller, first female Cherokee chief. Her name alone sets a precedent! It would be poetic justice for her to replace Andrew Jackson, who sponsored the Indian Removal Act which led to massive Native American genocide. Harriet Tubman would also be a fantastic choice, as one of the earliest American heroes who led escaped slaves to their freedom – under the nose of Abraham Lincoln administration, who sits comfortably on the $5 bill.
So who has the ‘least sexist banknotes’? As described by the BBC: ‘Chinese notes have Mao Zedong and Indian ones have Mahatma Gandhi, but none of them feature any women. Many other currencies also stick to men, sometimes including a token woman or two.’
So far, being a ‘currency cover star’ has been a ‘boy’s club’, most often politicians. At Female Breadwinners, we applaud this latest campaign but ask: Should we be satisfied with just one? Wouldn’t banknotes featuring more of the faces of women & ethnic minorities reflect the diversity in each country better? Get involved and vote as every women on the list are worthy of being celebrated!