Does The Bank Of England Have A Problem With Women?

Continuing to make headlines, women really are set on making their voices heard in this bank note saga. On Friday, campaigners gathered outside the Bank of England, dressed up as famous females from history for a protest organised by The Women's Room. Supported by the Twitter hashtag, #womenonbanknotes, there was an Emmeline Pankhurst and warrior queen Boudicca among the crowd, all hoping to secure more women on the British tender. Speaking out about the protest, the co-founder of the women's room said, "This isn't a difficult ask. There is an embarrassment of women to choose from. The difficulty is choosing between them, not trying to find them." (The Guardian)


Originally updated on June 25, 2013:

It seems the Bank of England have taken notice of the growing sexism row that’s swollen around the sterling, and its depiction of historical figures. Following their controversial decision to replace Elizabeth Fry with Churchill on the British £5 note (one that garnered a petition with 29,000 disgruntled signatures), get ready to air punch, ladies, as they just announced Jane Austen will replace Charles Darwin on the £10 note.

The Bank of England governor, Sir Mervyn King said the Pride and Prejudice author was, “quietly waiting in the wings” as the next famous face of British history to grace one of our banknotes. Shooting down any sexism speculation, he added, “I think it is extremely unlikely that we should ever find ourselves in the position where there are no women among the historical figures on our banknotes.” So, that’s the end of that dispute. Nice work, girls. (Mirror)

Originally published on June 23, 2013:

Gender equality. Seems it’s always two steps forward, one step back. Just as we celebrate how far we’ve come in society, with the likes of Angela Ahrendts closing the gap between male-female salaries, news reaches us that women are to be wiped off bank notes. The image of Winston Churchill is replacing Elizabeth Fry on the £5 note, which leaves just Queen Liz representing us ladies — no fair. But, British women aren’t having it. A campaign to bring back women to our tender is gathering serious steam.

A group of 46 MPs have written to the Bank of England to express their dismay and ask for the decision to replace Fry to be revoked — and their campaign is snowballing, with women everywhere weighing in. According to historian Judith Flanders, the bank’s selection process is based on little more than prejudice. “It's about white upper class men from limited backgrounds having a limited number of heroes. What is this except a public school boy's list?" MP Stella Creasy adds, “If women aren't represented, it suggests that they don't make a contribution to society." And we all know that's far from the truth.
They’ve already sent forward suggestions, including Mary Seacole, women's rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft, biophysicist Rosalind Franklin, and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst — but, we want your thoughts. Who do you think should be the next woman on a bank note? (BBC)
Photo: Via BBC

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