What Awesome American Woman Would You Like to See on the $20 Bill?
The face of progress.
The year 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, and the Women on 20s campaign wants to commemorate this by replacing Andrew Jackson with a woman onto the $20 bill. W20 has a list of candidates for the public to vote on.
Fifteen candidates are listed for the primary round of voting, which is a list narrowed down from 30 women (which in itself still wouldn’t encompass all the amazing women in U.S. history). The variety of issues represented shows the struggle women have faced and still face. For example, Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were rallying voices for women’s rights. Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, started the second wave of feminism. Patsy Mink, the first Asian American in Congress, was responsible for a bill ending sex discrimination in education.
Other candidates were women who not only fought against gender discrimination, but racial discrimination as well, such as Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks. Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to Congress and advocated for minorities, women, and children. Barbara Jordan was the first black woman to deliver a keynote at the Democratic National Convention.
There are also women whose actions drew attention to health and medicine. There’s Clara Barton, angel of the battle field, and Rachel Carson, a zoologist who helped ban DDT in crops and spurred the environmental movement. Margaret Sanger popularized the term “birth control” and opened the first U.S. birth control clinic.
Then there are the women who dove head first into national and international governmental issues. Frances Perkins created the Social Security Act, Public Works, minimum wage, and laws against child labor. Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the World, drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
What does this modest list of women reveal? That women in history are more than just a page about in voting rights in the history textbook. They influenced education and racial policies, advanced medicine and science, and changed just not national but international law.
That’s why their faces need to be on our money—and not just a coin or two but an actual bill.
President Obama has already acknowledged the need of a woman on one of our bills and with so many female trailblazers, the real problem isn’t whether women should be on a bill at all, but rather who to pick.
Who do you think should be on our $20? Is there a woman not listed that you would nominate? What do you think?