What It Means to Have a Woman On the $20 vs the $10

Andrew Jackson (left) and Harriet Tubman (right)

Andrew Jackson (left) and Harriet Tubman (right)

Powerful change can happen when we raise our voices for what we believe in! I, like many Americans, was ready to see a woman added to our paper currency, so I blogged on GenderAvenger about the importance of her landing on the $20 instead of the $10. This month it was announced that Harriet Tubman will officially replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 and become the first woman and the first Black American to appear on US paper currency. The switch from putting a woman on the $10 to putting a woman on the $20 makes a huge difference and is cause for a much bigger celebration.

To properly honor women on paper currency, they belong on the currency with the highest circulation. Currency celebrating a woman should come rushing out of every ATM machine in America. That’s the only way to start to correct this gender imbalance.

$20 Bills Outnumber $10 Bills In Circulation In the US By Nearly FOUR TIMES

1.63 billion $10 bills are in circulation. Almost four times as many — 6.26 billion — $20 dollar bills are in circulation. Ones, fives, tens, and twenties together total 19.59 billion in circulation. Among the most circulated paper currency, $10 bills comprise less than 8.6% and $20 bills comprise 31.9%. If we can’t have 50% of the population’s images represented on the denominations, it sure would be nice to at least get close to 50% in circulation — probably in time for my great grandchildren given replacement timing.

If $10 Bills Featured a Woman, Bills Featuring Men Would Outnumber the Featured Woman By More Than ELEVEN TIMES

48 countries have put women on their paper currency before the US. We’re finally catching up, and I hope this change starts soon.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that although Alexander Hamilton will stay on the front of the $10, a gallery of women will appear on the back, and Harriet Tubman will appear on the front of the $20 while some mention of Andrew Jackson will be on the back. GenderAvenger is all about ensuring women are always part of the public dialog, and so now that the Supreme Court has declared that money is speech, we think it’s time for money to fairly represent women.