U.S. Treasurer on Which Woman Should Grace the New $10
This post was updated October 15, 2015. Scroll down to see the poll results!
In early October, AAUW members had the unique opportunity to meet Rosie Rios, the 43rd treasurer of the United States. Rios had invited AAUW to a private roundtable to discuss the redesign of the $10 bill. As treasurer, she is responsible for overseeing the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the U.S. Mint, and the U.S. Savings Bond Division. Rios’ signature has appeared on more than $700 billion’s worth of the nation’s banknotes.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Treasury Department announced plans to put a woman on the $10 bill in 2020. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which secured women’s right to vote, the new $10 would mark the first time that a woman has been featured on a U.S. bill in more than a century (Pocahontas was on the $20 in the 1860s, Rios said).
As part of the initiative, the Treasury Department has invited the public to share their nominations for who should appear on the new $10. Through private roundtables, town halls, and a social media campaign, the Treasury Department is gathering input about who should be recognized.
When Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced the redesign of the new $10, he intentionally stood in the rotunda of the National Archives, home to the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution. With this location and the open call for feedback, the Treasury Department is showcasing the fundamental principle that the nation was founded on: democracy.
“The definition of democracy is to take as much feedback as possible,” said Rios at the roundtable. With this as the theme of the redesign, the initiative has ignited dialogue about who should represent the face of democracy on the new currency. The Treasury Department insists that it’s trying to value women’s contributions to the American experiment, and AAUW recognizes that the women of color who shaped our country tend to be especially overlooked.
“This is about educating and awareness about the importance of women in history,” said AAUW Board Chair Patricia Fae Ho. From former first ladies to suffragists, abolitionists, doctors, and authors, the diverse list of suggestions for the new $10 honor the many acts of women’s leadership that built U.S. history.
“This is not about just one woman,” emphasized Rios. “There are many options, and there’s no right or wrong answer” about who should be featured. As the public has submitted their feedback, Rios said, “Not a week goes by where I don’t learn about someone new.”
Yet even with the Treasury Department’s commitment to putting a woman on currency, there has been criticism regarding the decision to redesign the $10 bill, a lesser circulated bill compared with the $20. However, as Rios explained in the roundtable, the decision had nothing to do with replacing Alexander Hamilton versus Andrew Jackson or the value and circulation of the bill. Rather, currency is redesigned to stay ahead of counterfeiting, and so the $10 is the next bill in line for redesign to combat counterfeiting and security threats.
But while the $10 bill is on deck for a makeover, Rios emphasized that putting a woman on the bill is not a one-and-done symbolic gesture. “This is not about currency design,” she said. “This is much bigger.”
Although the new $10 bill symbolizes the gains our nation has made when it comes to gender equity, there is still work to be done. Women continue to face barriers, among them the gender pay gap.
“The struggle for gender equality and equal opportunity continues,” said Lew during the announcement of the redesign. “The facts are clear. Women are still paid less than their male colleagues for doing the same work.”
As the secretary delivered his remarks in the National Archives rotunda, Rios’ 15-year-old daughter listened. After the event, she remarked to her mother that she had not realized that women were still fighting for fair pay. Rios’ daughter’s realization highlights the importance of the new $10 campaign’s potential to raise awareness about ongoing fights for gender equity.
“This is not about me; it’s about my daughter” and future generations, said Rios. “We have a lot of work to do.”
And so Rios says she and the Treasury Department are hoping to “ride the coattails” of women such as AAUW members who are taking charge to empower other women in the fight for equality.
AAUW Poll: Tell the U.S. Treasurer Who Should Be on the New $10 Bill
To commemorate 100 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment, which secured women the right to vote, the U.S. Treasury has announced plans to put a woman on the $10 bill in 2020. While the bill won’t be circulated for another five years, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury Jacob Lew has called on Americans to submit their suggestions for the redesign of the $10 bill, including what the bill should look like and who should be on it.
Which woman would you choose to feature on the new $10? Let us know your choice in the poll.
The Results Are In!
|Rank||Entry||Percentage of vote|
|5||Susan B. Anthony||5.44%|
|9||Elizabeth Cady Stanton||2.12%|
|24||Mary Harris “Mother” Jones||<0.50%|
|25||Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton||<0.50%|
|33||Juliette Gordon Low||<0.50%|
|35||Elizabeth Ann Seton||<0.50%|
|38||Marsha P. Johnson||<0.50%|
|41||Ida B. Wells||<0.50%|
|42||Coretta Scott King||<0.50%|
|44||Abigail Scott Duniway||<0.50%|
|46||Azie Taylor Morton||<0.50%|
|47||Anna Julia Cooper||<0.50%|
|50||Carrie Chapman Catt||<0.50%|
|52||Anne Nicol Gaylor||<0.50%|
|53||Mary Church Terrell||<0.50%|
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