Only 15% of figures celebrated on world banknotes are women

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17 July 2017
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Florence-Nightinggale-specimen-91797.jpg Florence Nichtinglae mocked up £50 note
The new polymer £10 note featuring a portrait of author Jane Austen is set to be introduced into circulation in September, but according to a new survey, there are far too few women depicted on banknotes, both in Britain and around the world.

The new polymer £10 note featuring a portrait of author Jane Austen is set to be introduced into circulation in September, but according to a new survey, there are far too few women depicted on banknotes, both in Britain and around the world.

To coincide with the recent launch of the new £10 note featuring Jane Austen, Advisa, the Swedish finance company, conducted an in-depth analysis of the world’s banknotes, revealing that only fifteen percent of the faces that appear on banknotes are women, with 83 regions, including the United States, not celebrating women at all.

The study analysed all of the banknotes currently in circulation across 238 territories around the world.

Having discarded the 370 notes that don’t feature any people at all, such as the Euro, the team counted the number of appearances of men and women on each banknote.

You can read the full report here.

The research also asked members of the British to vote for the women they would most like to see depicted on a GB banknote, with Princess Diana and JK Rowling amongst the most popular choices, prompting the company to create mock notes showing these popular figures!

Josef Hälsningar at Advisa, said:
‘With countries like Sweden, Canada, the UK and America beginning to celebrate more women on their currencies, we wanted to take a wider look to see what the current lay of the land is. Our findings show that there seems to be a clear discrepancy between men and women when it comes to featuring on banknotes. It’s good to see countries moving in the right direction, but the findings were nevertheless surprising, and it looks like there’s still some way to go.’

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According to the findings, only 52 women appear on the world’s banknotes, making 178 appearances in total.

In contrast, 398 men are featured 995 times.

Only Sweden, Australia and Japan of the major nations achieve gender parity, with at least fifty percent of the faces appearing on their banknotes being women.

Australia has the highest proportion, with four of the nine people on its banknotes being men.

The United States joins North Korea, Russia, Pakistan, South Africa and India amongst the 83 other territories that don’t feature any women on their banknotes.

All of the people featured on American currency are dead, white, male, politicians.

Read more about coins and banknotes in every issue of Stamp & Coin Mart magazine…