A woman is to feature on a redesigned $10 note, the US Treasury has said, though it has not been decided who it shall be.
The Treasury is introducing the note in 2020 to make it more secure, it has said, however the decision to feature a woman comes after campaigning by activist groups.
US notes currently feature exclusive white, male former political leaders, from George Washington, who has been the face of the one dollar banknote since 1963, to Benjamin Franklin, who has featured on the $100 note since 2009.
Woman have featured on US tender before, notably on the unpopular dollar coin. In 1979 a dollar coin was minted with the face of Susan B. Anthony, a campaigner for the women’s vote, but fell out of favour because it looked too much like a quarter.
The Treasury tried to correct these problems with a Sacagawea dollar coin in 2000, featuring the face of a native American woman. But the Treasury failed to couple the coin’s introduction with the withdrawal of dollar bills and it never caught on.
In May, more than 600,000 signed a petition seeking to replace the image on $20 notes from former president Andrew Johnson to the face of escaped slave and campaigner Harriet Tubman.
The Treasury has said it will seek the public’s input in choosing a figure for the $10 note, but that it was looking for a “champion for our inclusive democracy”.
“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,” said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.
In 2013 the Bank of England announced that Jane Austen would be the face of the £10 note from 2017, after the decision to replace Elizabeth Fry on the £5 note spurred protests about the representation on women on British legal tender.Reuse content