And finally…Woman to appear on new US $10 note

$10The US Treasury Department says a redesigned $10 note set to enter circulation in 2020 will feature a woman.

The introduction of the new note will mark the 100th anniversary of the US Constitution’s 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

However, the US Treasury has not revealed who the women in question will be.

In March, an independent group held a contest to select a woman to headline the $20 note, replacing former President Andrew Jackson.

But, in an announcement made late last night, US Treasury secretary Jack Lew opted for a redesigning of the $10 note instead.

Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman

The news comes less than a week after a high-profile petition was handed to US President Barack Obama as a result of the $20 survey that called on him to replace Andrew Jackson with African-American slavery abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

But with officials having opted to redesign the $10 bill instead, which is currently occupied by Alexander Hamilton, a public consultation exercise of their own will be held before a final decision on who should be the new woman on the note is made later this year.

Former US political leaders - all white men - currently headline all US notes.

Hamilton, a key figure in the American Revolution and also the first secretary of the US Treasury is, along with diplomat and inventor Ben Franklin, the only non-presidents featured on current US notes.

He first began appearing on the $10 note in 1929.

In the $20 bill run-off, Abolitionist Tubman beat other finalists: former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, civil rights activist Rosa Parks and leader of the Cherokee nation Wilma Mankiller.

Tubman was known as the “conductor” of the Underground Railroad that allowed many slaves to escape to freedom in the 1850s.

Mr Lew will make a decision about the selected woman by the end of year after seeking the public’s opinion over its “champion for our inclusive democracy”.

Women have been featured on US money before, but the notes and coins were not widely used.

Most recently women’s rights activist Susan B Anthony and Native American Sacagawea appeared on dollar coins, but both coins quickly went out circulation.

The primary goal of the redesign is to add measures to thwart counterfeiters, the Treasury Department said, but women’s groups have recently pressed for more representation on US notes.

Mr Lew said: “We have only made changes to the faces on our currency a few times since bills were first put into circulation, and I’m proud that the new 10 will be the first bill in more than a century to feature the portrait of a woman.”