21 October 2016
The US public will be asked to name candidates for the woman to be featured on the new US$10 bill. Photo: CNN
The US public will be asked to name candidates for the woman to be featured on the new US$10 bill. Photo: CNN

Woman to grace US$10 note to mark centennial of female vote

US paper currency will feature the face of a woman for the first time in more than a century, Reuters reported.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Thursday a newly redesigned US$10 bill, to be unveiled in 2020, will feature “a woman who has contributed to and represents the values of American democracy”.

He did not mention any names.

The release year coincides with the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.

“Our paper bills and the images of great American leaders and landmarks that they depict have long been a way for us to honor our past and discuss our values,” Lew told reporters on a conference call.

“This decision of putting a woman on the $10 bill reflects our aspirations for the future as much as the reflections of the past.”

The Treasury Department will collect public input in town hall meetings and via the hashtag #TheNew10 on social media as to who and what should be depicted on the bill.

Lew will make the final decisions on design.

The announcement follows a popular internet and social media campaign, “Women on 20s”, to put civil rights activist Harriet Tubman on the US$20 bill in place of Andrew Jackson.

Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks, another civil rights activist, were two other finalists in the online voting campaign, which ended last month.

But Lew said plans for the new bill began long before the campaign, with a decision made in 2013 to replace the US$10 note.

Security measures, along with a tactile feature to improve accessibility for the visually impaired, will be the main drivers behind the new design, he said.

He said Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of the United States, who is featured on the existing US$10 bill, will remain on the note in some way.

The last women featured on US currency notes were Martha Washington, the first of the US first ladies, who appeared on the US$1 silver certificate from 1891 to 1896, and Pocahontas, a native Indian from colonial times, who appeared in a group photo on the US$20 bill from 1865 to 1869.

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