Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Friday, April 22, 2016



The US Treasury Department made worldwide headlines on Wednesday when they announced HARRIET TUBMAN would be replacing ANDREW JACKSON on the $20 bill. Readers outside of the USA are likely wondering why this is such a BIG DEAL. Well...It's not so much that Miss Tubman is the first woman on an American currency note...but more about which currency note. No one knows why, but the TWENTY is the most important bill for Americans. For example, if you withdraw $100 from the ATM, you don't receive a hundred dollar bill. Nope, it's five twenties. Statistics show we only use disgustingly worn $1 bills more.

To celebrate this achievement, and to welcome the USA into the Currency Note Gender Equity Club, here are ten nations who already have portraits of women on their dollar bills:

ARGENTINA A couple of years ago, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner unveiled the new 100 Peso banknote. It featured...you guessed it... EVITA! She was supposed to have been on this bill fifty years ago, but regime change delayed the printing until 2012.

AUSTRALIA. The folks Down Under have the most gender neutral currency notes in the world. In addition to Queen Elizabeth II (more on her later...) there are ladies on every single Aussie banknote. The $10 has social reformer Dame Mary Gilmore, $20 is philanthropist Mary Reibly. The $50 shows the first woman MP, Edith Cowen while the $100 is Opera Singer Dame Nellie Melba.

MEXICO. A colorful self portrait of overly worshipped Frida Kahlo adorns the 500 peso note, but we here at the DUNER BLOG love Mexico's 200 Peso note more. It depicts Sor Juana, a 17th century poet. As a teen, she taught herself Greek, Latin and Nahuatl. She then dressed like a man to attend college.

PHILIPPINES. Catholic countries are easier places for women to succeed, so they appear more often on their corresponding banknotes. The island nation of the Philippines features two women on their money. Josefa Llanes Escoda was a lot like Harriet Tubman: She smuggled medicine, food and messages to POWs in Japanese occupation camps. Corozan Aquino appears with her husband on a rare two person obverse.

SOUTH KOREA. Asian countries are difficult places for women to succeed, so they rarely appear on their corresponding banknotes. An exception is Korea, where Shin Saimdang adorns the 50,000 Won. The 19th century poet was an astounding calligraphist...still a big deal in this part of the world!

SWEDEN. A couple of Scandinavian nations feature ladies on their bills, but Sweden's Selma Lagerlœf takes the cake. She is the first woman EVER to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Side Note: Sweden is atop the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report again this year. Congrats to the men there for allowing this to happen!

UKRAINE. Let's face it: Many of the women on this list are accomplished...but not exactly gorgeous. (This is highly important today's Kardashian World, but decades ago, it was not a prerequisite to a lady's success.) Enter Larysa Petrivna Kvitka from the Ukraine. This beautiful woman was also a writer, poet and women's rights activist.

U.K. & COMMONWEALTH. All Hail Queen Elizabeth II! No other person...male or female...has been one more currency notes ever. More than Washington, Lenin and Mao combined. She first appeared on a Canadian bill in 1935 at age eight. Nowadays, twenty nations around the world show her face at different ages. The superlatives just don't end. Antarctica is only continent NOT to have QE2 on their money...

No comments:

Post a Comment