As the new £10 notes hit the street which other women should be represented on our bank notes?

You have to be a man, dead, and probably a politician to appear on a banknote.

If you’re a woman, alive, and not in politics, you don’t stand much of a chance, a survey has found.

Although author Jane Austen will be appearing on £10 notes from Tuesday, the honour of getting your face on a wad of money is usually a male thing.

Swedish loan comparison site Advisa carried out research on all the world’s banknotes and said appearing on the front of a note, or even the back, is not usually for women – with the significant exception of the Queen.

The development of the portrait of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II on Bank of England banknotes
The development of the portrait of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II on Bank of England banknotes

It found only 15% of the world’s 1,006 banknotes featured females.

That’s just 52 women compared to 398 men.

But the UK was praised as one of the countries which is making an improvement with the new £10 note.

Advisa also asked Brits which women they would want to see on banknotes.

Nearly half said they wanted to see the return of Florence Nightingale while they were some votes cast for the first Queen Elizabeth and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

JK Rowling was the only living person to make the top ten but they were votes for Theresa May and even Labour’s Diane Abbott.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling
Harry Potter author JK Rowling

The company said: “Her Majesty the Queen holds the record for the most appearances on the world’s money: 83 times on banknotes of 12 different currencies.

“This accounts for nearly 50% of all the female appearances on the world’s banknotes.

“In addition to featuring on British money, Queen Elizabeth II also appears on banknotes in Australia, Belize, Canada and New Zealand.

“Politicians and political leaders are the most frequent profession of those who appear on banknotes, seen on 40% of notes featuring people.

“This is followed by various members of royal families (22%) and a number of literary greats from around the world (14%), with Jane Austen now adding to that list.”

Josef Hälsningar at Advisa said there was still more work to be done before equality set in.

He said: “With countries like Sweden, Canada, the UK and America beginning to celebrate more women on their currencies, we wanted to take a wider look to see what the current lay of the land is.

“Our findings show that there seems to be a clear discrepancy between men and women when it comes to featuring on banknotes.

“It’s good to see countries moving in the right direction, but the findings were nevertheless surprising, and it looks like there’s still some way to go.”

Here is the top ten list of women the UK would like to see on banknotes;

The top ten list of women the UK would like to see on banknotes

1 Florence Nightingale 46%

English nursing reformer Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910)
English nursing reformer Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910)

2 Princess Diana 34%

3 Emmeline Pankhurst 28%

4 Queen Victoria 22%

5 Queen Elizabeth I 21%

6 Beatrix Potter 19%

7 Agatha Christie 17%

8 Boudicca 15%

9 JK Rowling 12%

10 Margaret Thatcher 3%

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