Did you know that when Elizabeth Fry is replaced by Winston Churchill on our five pound notes, there will be no other women, other than the Queen who appears by virtue of birth, on our currency? Please help and act now to stop this happening, here’s how
Sometimes I hear about things that make me wonder if society is moving backwards. When I learned that soon there would be no women on our bank notes in the UK, I really didn’t want to let the matter go without doing anything. Which is why at CybHer yesterday, I talked about the campaign launched by The Women’s Room and how important it is for women to work together to help reverse the decision about our bank notes. I asked for your help and promised to post about how you can get involved today, so here are the details of the online and social media campaign. Please get involved and spread the word any way you can, whether you have just a few minutes or longer, every voice will help.
HOW YOU CAN HELP KEEP WOMEN ON BANK NOTES
Each signature counts so please get involved whether you blog, tweet, Facebook or have just have an email address.
BLOGGERS: TELL US WHICH BRITISH FEMALE IS NOTEWORTHY IN YOUR EYES?
Step 1: Inspirational stories
Please write a blog post about which women you would like to see you banknotes; it could be Dame Kelly Rowland, your Mum, your favourite teacher, Joanna Lumley, Thatcher, J K Rowling or even Chery Cole – it’s your choice so it doesn’t matter if your choice is political or controversial; as as long as they’ve inspired you and you feel they deserve a place on our cash, it’s your shout.
Step 2: Inspiration for others
Because we want as many blog posts as possible, we are asking you to link to another blogger in your post (or as many as you like, the more the merrier) and prompt them to write a post too (you can copy and paste step 1 into your post.
Step 3: Inspiring buzz online
Once you’ve written your post tweet using #banknotes hashtag and also to @TheWomensRoomUK who will tweet your link out to their 10,000 or so followers. Your posts will also be retweeted by other bloggers to reach as wide an audience as possible. It would be great if you could visit the other bloggers posts and leave your comments on them, I will be visiting all of them.
WANT TO HELPL USING FACEBOOK & TWITTER? UPLOAD A CAMPAIGN BANNER FROM TWIBBON TO YOUR PROFILE:
If you don’t know what twibbon is, don’t worry – it’s the nifty little app that helps you add a logo to your twitter or Facebook profile picture.
It looks like this (and of course there’s plenty of room left for your beautiful profile image inside):
You can upload a #banknotes logo for your Facebook and Twitter profiles by going to Twibbon here. Please display it until June 15 (you can easily remove it afterwards).
WANT TO HELP BY EMAIL? SEND A MESSAGE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO DRUM UP SUPPORT & SIGN THE PETITION:
If social media isn’t your thing, why not drop an email to friends, family and colleagues and ask them to get involved by signing the petition, it will only take a few seconds. Just copy and paste the link here: Bank of England, keep a woman on bank notes into your email.
AND THERE’S MORE TO COME
Please activate your communities any way you can; blogging, tweeting or just talking about. Over the next two weeks there will be other activities and here are a couple of things to get involved in:
CybHer will be launching a group Pinterest board, you can post and share blogs and images on there, more news to follow
Tara Cain at Sticky Fingers will be running a Gallery prompt about this on June 12
If you’ve got a great idea – please make something happen any way you possibly can and remember to tag your stuff with #banknotes
LATEST ON THE CAMPAIGN
Over 23,000 signatures have been added to the online petition set up by Caroline Criado-Perez, co-founder of thewomensroom.org.uk, The Bank of England is now facing potential court action for failing to adhere to equality laws following its decision to replace the only historical female figure on English banknotes with a man.
“Mervyn King has a huge responsibility when deciding who appears on our notes. He says himself that banknotes acknowledge the life and works of great Britons. An all-male lineup on our banknotes sends out the damaging message that no woman has done anything important enough to appear. It is not acceptable for such an influential institution to overlook women in this way.”
MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE CAMPAIGN:
Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, recently announced Winston Churchill will replace social reformer Elizabeth Fry as the face of £5 notes. This means that, other than the Queen, there will be no women featuring on our English bank notes.
An all-male line-up on our banknotes sends out the damaging message that no woman has done anything important enough to appear. This is patently untrue. Not only have numerous women emerged as leading figures in their fields, they have done so against the historic odds stacked against them which denied women a public voice and relegated them to the private sphere – making their emergence into public life all the more impressive and worthy of celebration.
People will perhaps say that the Queen appears on all the notes. But the Queen would be there whatever she achieved – she was born into her position. The men on the banknotes – Charles Darwin, Adam Smith, Matthew Boulton, James Watt, and soon, Winston Churchill – are all there because of what they have done, not because of who their parents were.
This decision by the Bank of England is yet another example of women’s considerable achievements being overlooked in favour of the usual (male) suspects – and yet another example of how the establishment undervalues the contributions of women to history – and indeed to the present. The significance of this decision is further underlined by the fact that Darwin is actually our oldest note – by two years. Why isn’t he being replaced?
It matters because young women growing up see a parliament that is 57th equal in the world when it comes to female representation; a media where only 1 in 5 experts is a woman; and a business world where female directors represent only 16.7% of the total, against a voluntary target of 25% set in 2011.
Currency, as its name suggests, is fundamental to our daily lives. These notes will change hands every hour, every minute, every second. And every time they do, the message will drive a little deeper home: women do not belong in public life – they never have, and they never will.
We call on the Bank of England to reverse this decision, and not add another straw to the establishment weight on the shoulders of young women telling them that they will amount to nothing – after all, their mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers didn’t. Why should they be any different?