The New Face Of The 20 Dollar Bill
Move Over, Jackson!
Have you ever closely looked at the Indian currency notes? Any of them? What’s your favourite note? Have you ever admired the picture on the note, or the face of the person on it? Have you ever noticed that, when it comes to the faces of people on currency notes, worldwide, it is often a famous male leader, economist, politician that adorns the surface. But how often is it a woman's face?
As the US treasury makes a change for the first time in a century, we welcome the new face of the 20 dollar bill. Harriet Tubman, a civil war era abolitionist is all set to be the new face of the 20 dollar bill.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told reporters during a conference call Wednesday afternoon. “Her incredible story of courage and commitment to equality embody the ideals of democracy that our nation celebrates, and we’ll continue to value her legacy by honoring her on our currency.” (source)
Lew has predicted that the new bills will be unveiled in 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. (source)
On the call on Wednesday, Lew said he would try and make the changes quickly. “The two things most important are the security of our money and getting this process to move as quickly as possible,” he said. (source)
Hillary Clinton whole heartedly supported this move by claiming that “there was no better choice” for the new face of the 20 dollar bill. Harriet was afterall not just a woman, but a leader and freedom fighter too.
Other nations like Syria, the Philippines, Israel, Mexico, Argentina, New Zealand, England, Australia, Sweden already have female leaders on some currency notes.
Closer home, Indian currency notes depict the face of Mahatma Gandhi. This is probably because of the diverse culture and different state objectives. One face of one leader helps showcase a sense of national integrity.
What would happen if we decided to start changing the face on our currency notes? Not only would there be a matter of debate state-wise as to whose face should go on what note, the probability of a uniform conclusion that makes everyone happy may take a long time to achieve.
Using faces of popular leaders on currency notes helps reduce counterfeiting because it is difficult to replicate the picture of a person on a fake currency note correctly.