This video is about British currency.
By Peter Frost in Britain:
Keep women on our money
Thursday 02 May 2013
This means that, other than the Queen, there will be no women featured on our English bank notes. Perhaps we should thank our lucky stars it wasn’t Maggie. But what a terrible message that all-male line-up on our banknotes will send – particularly to young women trying to make their way in a male world.
It tells them loud and clear that no woman has done anything important enough to be featured on our currency.
What dangerous nonsense. Thousands of women are leading figures in their fields. Thousands more have played key roles in the history of our country. Not just that, but they have done so against the historic odds stacked against them.
This decision by the Bank of England is yet another example of how women’s considerable achievements are so often hidden from history.
It is also another example of how the establishment undervalues the contributions of women in so many fields.
Now with our new Bank of England male-only notes the message that women do not belong in public life, they never have and they never will, will be rammed home every time we spend our hard earned cash.
Caroline Criado-Perez has started an on-line petition. She commented online “It’s yet another example of how the country we live in just doesn’t seem to value women’s contribution. The note being replaced isn’t even the oldest one – that was Darwin – which is why it seems completely unnecessary.”
Even one of the Chancellor’s close aides has intervened to demand that women now be considered for other bank notes. Tory MP Amber Rudd, the Parliamentary Private Secretary to George Osborne, said: “It would be a mistake not to feature women on any bank note.”
There have been 16 historical figures featured on banknotes since the portraits were introduced in 1970 – including only two women, Florence Nightingale who was on the £10 note from 1975 to 1994 and Elizabeth Fry, who was introduced on the £5 note in 2002.
As so often they do things better in Scotland. There are two women pictured on Scottish banknotes today.
The Clydesdale £50 note features Elsie Maud Inglis who, in 1894, built a maternity hospital in Edinburgh for poor women, staffed entirely by women. She also campaigned for votes and rights for women.
The Scottish £20 note has a picture of an anonymous female chemist. A decade after the notes first appeared the press tracked her down. She is Janet Mullen, a mother of three and a chemist still working in the water industry.
Just don’t try to spend either of these Scottish notes in an English pub.
In Frosty’s wallet
Here is Frosty’s short list for women to appear on the notes in his thin wallet. If you have other nominations the letters page would love to hear them.
Jayaben Desai Leader of the strikers in the epic Grunwick dispute in London in 1976.
H Ellen Wilkinson Labour MP. One of Britain’s first women MPs. Founding member of the Communist Party. Marched to London with Jarrow Hunger Marchers.
Rosalind Franklin The unsung hero of DNA, Franklin’s X-ray images of the double helix provided the data that Francis Crick and James Watson used to win their Nobel prize.
Mary Jane Seacole After being turned down by the War Office, the mixed-race, Jamaican-born nurse made her own way to the Crimean front line, where she tended to wounded British soldiers.
Emily Wilding Davidson This militant Suffragette died under the hooves of the King’s Horse in a protest at the Derby exactly 100 years ago.
Doreen Lawrence Mother of Stephen Lawrence, the murdered British teenager who was killed by racists. She is a leading campaigner against racism and injustice.
Britain: Equality campaigners have accused the government of a systematic assault on measures designed to protect women and minorities, amid fears that a key requirement to end discrimination is to be scrapped: here.
New British £10 note will feature Jane Austen: here.
Why Mary Seacole is Still Relevant for Women Today: here.
- Driver’s fury after car park pay machine spits out his Scottish notes and asks for English cash instead (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Elizabeth Fry to be replaced by Winston Churchill (futurefem.wordpress.com)
- The Bank of England’s £5 note, Elizabeth Fry and the Women of Newgate (victoriandetectives.wordpress.com)
- You: Britain’s choice of Churchill on 5-pound note leaves women out (latimes.com)
- Will Jane Austen appear on British currency? (smartplanet.com)
- Absence of women on British banknotes sparks debate (blueandgreentomorrow.com)
- Politicians join fight to keep women on British banknotes (telegraph.co.uk)
- Carney to review lack of female banknotes characters (itv.com)
- A Bronte on a Banknote: How Far We’ve Come and Where We Still Need To Get To (lucykaufman.wordpress.com)
- Campaigners for women on banknotes to stage march (itv.com)