Men are usually the stars whose faces show up on our currency: dead presidents, prominent statesmen, and kings are the figures whose faces make the cut. However, a recent campaign to put a woman on the $20 dollar bill has received an outpouring of support since its launch in early March. The Women On 20's site offers 15 different female candidates to replace our notoriously racist warmonger president Andrew Jackson, and in the past month has received over 80,000 visitors. With choices like Sojourner Truth, Rachel Carson, Rosa Parks and Margaret Sanger, it's hard to pick just one, but well worth it to do so. All the petition needs is 100,000 signatures, and the White House has to respond.
Placing a woman front and center on an American bank note may seem radical to us, but there are other countries who have been doing it for decades. It's no secret that the United States isn't #1 in gender equality around the world, but, interestingly, even the countries that do put women on currency aren't necessarily so evolved when it comes to women's rights. However, there is still great symbolic value in putting a permanent female stamp on the economy. Here are five kinds of currency from around the world where women rule.
1. British Pound featuring Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth is all over British money — both bills and coins — but this is the latest version to join the ranks. A new portrait of the reigning 88-year-old queen was just unveiled on the pound coin this month, and is already in circulation.
2. Argentinian Peso featuring Eva Peron
Eva Peron has been the subject of musicals, movies, and feminist lore, so it makes sense she was deemed worthy to be pictured on currency. As the second wife of President Juan Peron, she served as First Lady of Argentina until her death in 1952.
3. Indian Rupee featuring Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi was the polarizing fourth prime minister of India. She was voted "Greatest Woman of the Millennium" by a BBC News poll in 1999 for her decades of service and impact on South Asia and the world.
4. Central African Franc featuring local woman
This currency defies the unspoken "rules" of bank notes by featuring an average woman. Central African Francs have a more egalitarian message as they include local scenes you would come across in Cameroon, Chad, or the Republic of Congo like local peoples, plants, and animals.
5. American Dollar Coin featuring Sacagawea
The United States might not have a bill with a woman on it yet, but we do have this dollar coin featuring Sacagawea. In case you're fuzzy on your history, she was the Shoshone guide who helped Lewis and Clark explore the western half of the United States between 1804-1806.
Images: Getty Images (2); Wikipedia (3)