Earlier this year a unique campaign was the subject of many news headlines in a very feminist way. ‘Women on 20s’ was started by Susan Ades Stone and the idea was to bring attention to the fact that there are NO women currently on any US bills, and to change that. The campaign specifically focused on replacing ex president Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill by the year 2020.
Well it seems as if the non-profit organization is about to get their wish, albeit in a slightly different way but just as satisfying. The Obama administration has recently announced that a woman will be featured on the $10 bill in 2020. And hey, it’s only the first time in over 100 years!
The new femme-focused $10 bill will be unveiled in 2020 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. Woohoo! This wasn’t just a coincidence, it was something that has been in the works for a while.
“United States currency — and the images of great leaders and landmarks they depict — has long been a way to honor our past and express our values. In 2013, we selected the $10 note for redesign based on a number of factors,” said an announcement on the US Treasury website who are spearheading this campaign.
“The next generation of currency will revolve around the theme of democracy. The first note, the new $10, will feature a notable woman.”
They are asking the public to vote on who they would like to see on the note, similar to what Women on 20s were doing with their campaign. This is another historic aspect of the announcement (other than the female inclusion) as in the past the Treasury usually relies on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to advise them on themes, symbols and concepts. The updated version of the $10 bill will be a truly democratic result this time.
After all suggestions are made, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew will pick the final woman before the new note goes into print. For those who are wondering why they didn’t choose the $20 since that is the bill a lot of people were already petitioning for, it’s because the Treasury consults with the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence (ACD) Steering Committee and they give them advice on which note should next be updated based on analysis created to prevent counterfeit notes.
The new design and featured iconic woman won’t be seen for a few years which means you ALL have plenty of time to have your say and make your vote count!
The current face on the $10 bill is Alexander Hamilton the country’s first secretary of the treasury, who advocated for a national currency. Jacob Lew said at this stage they are considering the idea of having two versions of the bill so as not to completely eliminate him from circulation.
Women haven’t completely been absent from the face of US currency, but they are not as prominent as the men. The last time a woman was featured on a bill was in the late 1800s when Martha Washington, wife of the first US President George Washington, was featured on the silver dollar certificate, according to the Washington Post. Since then, Hellen Keller has appeared on the quarter, and activist Susan B. Anthony and Native American Sacagawea were featured on the $1 coin before they were stopped being made due to lack of popularity.
Pocahontas was also featured on a $20 currency note in group photo in during the mid-19th century, according to ABC news.
What we’re saying it, it’s about damn time and finally the government is listening to the voice of the people on this matter.
Democratic Senator from New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen, who introduced a bill in April to get a female face onto American currency said this historic announcement is a major step forward. Her bill was largely inspired by the Women on 20s movement that steadily grew momentum and attention.
“Young girls across this country will soon be able to see an inspiring woman on the ten dollar bill who helped shape our country into what it is today and know that they too can grow up and do something great for their country,” she said.
Women on 20s creator Susan Ades Stone may not have been successful with her particular campaign, but she is thrilled to hear this news.
“It’s been our goal from the beginning to see the face of a woman on our paper currency. So naturally I’m excited to hear that our mission will be accomplished,” she said.
“I can’t claim that we gave them the idea, but I do believe that their decision to go to the public for input is the result of the public response to our campaign,” she added.
Abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman came out as the top vote in the Women on 20s campaign, and we eagerly await to see who the public will vote on for the $10 bill coming in 2020. Good move Treasury! See the announcement from Secretary Jacob Lew below: