Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Battle to keep women on banknotes

fryhero.jpg
bank-notes-hero2.jpg
10-note.jpg
5o-note.jpg

The Bank of England is facing mounting criticism over its decision to remove prison reformer Elizabeth Fry from banknotes.

Replacing Fry with Winston Churchill in 2016 will leave British currency with no female representation other than the Queen, prompting The Women's Room to start an online petition asking Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, to keep women on British currency.

With almost 30,000 names added to the petition in the two months since the Bank's announcement, a group of 46 female MPs has now written to the Prime Minister and the Bank of England asking them not to take women off our banknotes, The Telegraph revealed.

“We ask that you seek to review the decision about Elizabeth Fry and ensure that the Bank plays its role in celebrating the contribution of women to our country," the letter reads. "We are sharing our letter with the Prime Minister to ask him to join us in raising these concerns and recognising the contribution of women across all spheres of public life."

Born into it: The Queen appears on every note by default, not because of her achievements

A Bank of England spokesman said: “The Bank did consider the representation of women when selecting the next figure to feature on a banknote. The selection decision was made taking into account objectively selected criteria. Four candidates, three men a woman, were considered when Sir Winston Churchill was chosen as the historical character to appear on the next new banknote, and the female candidate was chosen as the contingency candidate.”

However, The Women's Room is not impressed, arguing in its petition: "An all-male line-up on our banknotes sends out the damaging message that no woman has done anything important enough to appear. This is patently untrue."

It says that by removing the only female from the current selection of admirable figures chosen to feature on the reverse of the notes, the Bank is failing young women, who it says are growing up seeing "a parliament that is 57th equal in the world when it comes to female representation; a media where only one in five experts is a woman; and a business world where female directors represent only 16.7% of the total."

There is no set time period between updates on banknotes, the Bank of England confirmed to Stylist, so it's not known how long the currency will be dominated by men if the plan to replace Fry goes ahead in 2016.

What do you think to a male-dominated currency? Should Fry be replaced by another woman and if so, who? Have your say below or on Twitter.

Related

femalpioneers.jpg

Revolutionary pioneers

space hero.jpg

These women are making the future

bookher3.jpg

Inspirational Quotes From Female Writers

More

What is perspecticide and could it be happening in your relationship?

This form of coercive control is incredibly damaging

by Megan Murray
16 Oct 2017

5 of the best indulgent baking books

Take a moment for yourself and make yourself some sweet baked goodness

16 Oct 2017

Here’s why your NHS doctor may ask you about your sexuality

The new directive will start in 2019

by Susan Devaney
16 Oct 2017

UK police investigate 5 sexual assault claims against Harvey Weinstein

Including one brought by Hollyoaks actress Lysette Anthony

by Moya Crockett
16 Oct 2017

#WomenBoycottTwitter: Here’s why women are refusing to tweet today

How will women going silent help their cause?

by Kayleigh Dray
13 Oct 2017

Lucy Mangan on why it's OK to feel vulnerable in these dark times

It’s reasonable to feel shaken by horrific news stories – we just mustn’t let them change us permanently

by Lucy Mangan
12 Oct 2017

Here’s what to do if your work space is driving you to distraction

Do you function better amid the chatter of colleagues?

12 Oct 2017

7 female characters from 90s horror films to channel this Halloween

Here's all the inspiration you need for all Hallow's Eve

by Susan Devaney
12 Oct 2017