On banknotes around the world we can find the faces of women who, with great courage, have defended women’s rights. With their hard work and dedication they have contributed to the development of their country and the recognition of women to obtain equality before the law. Their achievements in different areas such as the arts, sciences and politics have been memorialized through the designs of national banknotes.
Fatma Aliye Topuz
In Turkey, the reverse side of the 50 lire notes presents the novelist and women’s rights advocate Fatma Aliye Topuz. In addition to several literary works, she wrote for thirteen years in magazines defending women’s rights. Fatma Aliye also contributed to many charities and in 1897 she founded a charity to support the families of soldiers. For her humanitarian efforts, she was awarded the Order of Charity.
Katherine Wilson Sheppard
The $ 10 New Zealand bills present the feminist leader Kate Sheppard, who in 1893 helped New Zealand become the first country in the world with the right for women to vote on an equal footing as men. Sheppard was the first person to hold the presidency of the National Women’s Council of New Zealand, and helped many organizations achieve the approval of women’s vote in other countries.
Selma Lagerlöf was a writer, teacher and activist for women’s rights in Sweden. She was the first woman to obtain a Nobel Prize in Literature (in 1909). In 1991 the Swedish government paid her tribute by putting her face on the 20-krona bill, and the Swedish Academy has issued several series of postage stamps with her image.
Ichiyō Higuchi was an author and Japanese poetess specialized in writing short stories that exposed the difficulties suffered by the women of her time. Higuchi is popular in the literary world of Japan for her stories about the lives of women in Tokyo, and her work is highly appreciated for the use of classical Japanese language. The image of the novelist Ichiyō Higuchi appears on the ¥ 5,000 bill.
Edith Dircksey Cowan
Edith Dircksey Cowan was an Australian social worker who defended the rights of women, children and immigrants. She was the first Australian woman to serve as a member of the Australian Parliament. She was one of the first women to be part of a local education council, helped found the Society for the Protection of Children, created the Juvenile Court, established the National Women’s Council and founded the Hospital for Women. Cowan has appeared on the reverse side of the $ 50 Australian dollar bill since 1995.
We would enjoy hearing your thoughts, what woman would you like to appear on the bills of your country?