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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Proposal to Introduce Female Faces on Currency Notes

People from the United States and Canada are demanding that a woman picture be put on a banknote. A similar campaign has also sprung up in the United Kingdom which successfully convinced the Bank of England to put the face of Jane Austen on the 10 pound note. However, it should be asked, is one woman per country enough?The American currency notes have the portraits of the founding Fathers of the country and also former presidents. The Chinese notes have Mao Zedong and the Indian currency has Mahatma Gandhi, however none of the countries who are considered the world’s superpowers have any women on their currency. Most other countries also stick with men on their notes and however include a woman or two as token.



The executive director for the campaign, Susan Ades Stone, has stated that the United States needs to show the entire world that they value and recognize the contributions made to the country by women. The United States currently has seven different currency notes in circulation all of which feature deceased statesmen only.The campaign which is known as Women on 20s has conducted an online poll through which 15 historical female leaders have been chosen as most likely to be on the note. The historical female candidates include Rosa Parks, who was a civil rights activist, Margaret Sanger, who was the pioneer of birth control and Susan B Anthony & Harriet Tubman, who escaped from slavery and went on to free the other slaves and give them freedom.



Around 200,000 people voted in the first round and another second round is set to take place which will further shorten the list of possible female candidates. Once the final votes are made and one female is selected to be the new face of the 20 dollar note, the campaign group will petition the current president of the United States, President Obama to replace Andrew Jackson with the woman that has been chosen.



Many still wonder as to why Jackson was given the honor of being the face of the 20 dollar bill. Many believe that he should be removed from the bill essentially, due to his immense unpopularity with the Native American population. Andrew Jackson was single handedly responsible for THE Indian Removal Act, which caused thousands of Native Americans do die. This controversy is essentially why, the 20 dollar note has been chosen to be changed.



Meanwhile, in Canada, more than 54,000 citizens have come together and signed a petition, which asks for a woman to be the face of a note. This petition came into being after the only woman to appear on Canadian currency, Therese Casgrain, was replaced by an icebreaker ship in 2011. Celebrated author, historian and vocal supporter of this petition, Merna Foster, has stated that whenever we open our wallets, we see the faces of the four male prime ministers on out currency as well as Queen Elizabeth. This subtly gives the message that the Canadian women are not worthy of being celebrated or valued.

Source: BBC

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