Monday, 15 July 2013

Cambridge MP Backs Campaign To Keep Women On English Banknotes

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert is supporting a campaign to make sure women are represented on English banknotes.

The campaign has been launched after the Bank of England removed social reformer, Elizabeth Fry from the £5 note leaving the banknotes totally dominated by men.

Fry was only the second female after Florence Nightingale to be honoured in this way and campaigners claim that is unacceptable as women make up 50 per cent of the population.

Julian has signed a Commons’ Early Day Motion supporting a 30,000 signature petition - Bank of England: Keep a woman on English banknotes.

The motion says “there is a range of alternative national figures that could be considered for such recognition”.

“Women have played a part in the rich history of this country and I cannot understand the thinking behind this decision not to recognise their hugely significant contributions,” said Julian.

“Honouring these women on our banknotes not only supports equal representation but values their contributions and makes them role models for the next generation of young women. This could raise the aspirations and achievements of these young people.”

After months of public pressure, the Bank of England has told campaigners that Jane Austen is “quietly waiting in the wings” but campaigners claim it has failed to commit to comply with its obligations under the 2010 Equality Act.

The full wording of the Early Day Motion reads as follows:

"That this House welcomes and supports the petition Bank of England: Keep a woman on English banknotes; is concerned at the Bank of England's decision to remove Elizabeth Fry from the five pound note; notes that Elizabeth Fry is currently the only female honoured in this way and the second one ever after Florence Nightingale; further notes that there is a range of alternative national female figures that could be considered for such recognition; further notes that women make up over 50 per cent of the population and should therefore be represented on at least 50 per cent of banknotes; and calls on the Government to support equal representation and recognition of women across all spheres of public life."