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For the first time in a long time, a major political event is being reported that does not have the United States population believing the world could end any second. Recently, there has been a referendum to place a portrait of a woman’s face on our paper money, specifically to replace Andrew Jackson who is currently featured on the 20-dollar bill. Why now? Why the $20 bill? More importantly, who will replace an important male figure? Since the Great Depression began in 1929, the United States Treasury has yet to change the faces represented on our paper currency, which include 8 presidents, two treasury secretaries, and the inventor of electricity, Benjamin Franklin. Only one woman in over 100 years has been depicted on our paper money, and her name is Martha Washington. Unfortunately, Martha was not praised for her individual efforts and was only placed on the certificate because her husband George Washington, whose efforts overshadowed hers since his being a powerful male, was depicted on the other side of the paper note. Other influential women like Sacagawea, for example, have only been shown on gold or silver coins.


The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and the passing of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote. As you can see, the number 20 is making a pattern here. It seems only fair that after 100 years we finally give homage to those women who played an immense part in American History. Though, being on paper money is harder than it looks. There are certain credentials to be met before your face can sit in every American’s wallet:


1.      You must have to be dead for at least two years to have your portrait on government securities.

2.      You have to be recognizable to the general public.

3.      Only the Secretary of Treasury may order new portraits and designs shown on U.S. currency, unless specified by an Act of Congress. The

         Secretary of Treasury is assisted by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing officials.

4.      Lawmakers may order a change in portrait or denomination only through an Act of Congress.



So, which influential woman in American History should we choose to portray on our U.S. currency? The group behind the campaign, “Women On 20s,” went through a challenging selection process of over 100 names to come up with a list of fifteen women warriors who faced numerous difficulties to achieve their goals. They are as follows: Alice Paul, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, Rachel Carson, Rosa Parks, Barbara Jordan, Margaret Sanger, Patsy Mink, Clara Barton, Harriet Tubman, Frances Perkins, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

If you would like to have a say in who will become the next feature face of our currency, go to the website http://www.womenon20s.org/ and cast your vote! (Although I’m sure we all wish Beyoncé was on that list).


“Our money says something about us, about what we VALUE. Let us make something egalitarian and inclusive. This new portrait will become a symbol of changes to come. Join the movement and help this country take steps toward achieving gender equality" (Womenon20s).


Here are some quotes from the men and women of Sacred Heart University’s campus. These students willingly shared their opinion on the subject of a woman as the face of our country’s twenty-dollar bill.

“I think that having a woman on the $20 bill will promote a very important change in society. It will be influential to young children, who get excited when they receive any form of money, to see a woman looking back at them. It will show them how important women are and will inspire them to gain enough power to become the next face of the dollar bill.” - Connie Cuccurese, Freshman

“I think it’s truly amazing! It has been a long fight for women to get this far even today. It shows progression and equal rights for everyone. Why wouldn’t we put a woman on there? We spend more money than men do anyway!” - Jenille MacIntosh, Senior

“Why only the 20? Why not the 50 or 100 dollar bills? I think women are worth more than that.”- John Craig, Junior

“Generally speaking, I feel like men will almost be insulted by it because there hasn’t been a woman on the face of a paper bill in over a century. I think some may take the standpoint that we’ve only had presidents (all male) on paper bills so it should remain that way. Some may think that men hold power over women and that money is a form of power so, therefore, only men should be on paper bills. Personally, I don’t give a crap. If it is a woman, I think it should be someone who has truly shaped American History and has played a vital role in today’s society.” - Anonymous, Male



Comment below if you have anything to say on the topic or want to offer up a name for the list of “Women on 20s!”


Maggie Bortner is a junior at Sacred Heart University. She is a business marketing and fashion merchandising major, with a minor in French. She is a leading member in her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, here on campus. She likes to spend her free time working out at the gym and spending hours online shopping.
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