Helen Weinstein has been supporting Caroline Craido-Perez co-founder @TheWomensRoomUk for the media campaign directed @TheBankofEngland regarding historical women on our stirling bank notes.  

This profile-raising and public conversation has helped gather over 20,000 signatures for the petition.  Hurrah!  This petition is in response to the Bank announcing that the only woman commemorated on a £ Bank note, Elizabeth Fry, will be replaced by a portrayal of Winston Churchill. This will mean, that apart from the Queen whose portrayal is based on heriditary rather than merit, not one woman of note, will be immortalized on our notes, and this gives a terrible message to present and future generations of women.

The twitter sphere has been busy on behalf of the campaign, and we have had great radio and television coverage, also newspapers including: Indie, Guardian, Mail, even Sun!  See below for all the links.

For example Helen and Caroline went on BBC Radio Four for "Woman's Hour" to advocate for historical women to be in the running for our bank notes, and to say that rather than NO women on our bank notes, we should be aiming for 50/50. 

BBC Woman's Hour appearance

BBC Woman's Hour appearance -  Photo & Podcast: Helen Weinstein and Caroline Craido-Perez


Supporters: to sign the petition -  go to this link: 


The campaign petitition

Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, announced Winston Churchill will replace social reformer Elizabeth Fry as the face of £5 notes. This means that, other than the Queen, there will be no women featuring on our English bank notes. 

An all-male line-up on our banknotes sends out the damaging message that no woman has done anything important enough to appear. This is patently untrue. Not only have numerous women emerged as leading figures in their fields, they have done so against the historic odds stacked against them which denied women a public voice and relegated them to the private sphere - making their emergence into public life all the more impressive and worthy of celebration.

People will perhaps say that the Queen appears on all the notes. But the Queen would be there whatever she achieved - she was born into her position. The men on the banknotes - Charles Darwin, Adam Smith, Matthew Boulton, James Watt, and soon, Winston Churchill - are all there because of what they have done, not because of who their parents were.

This decision by the Bank of England is yet another example of women's considerable achievements being overlooked in favour of the usual (male) suspects - and yet another example of how the establishment undervalues the contributions of women to history - and indeed to the present. The significance of this decision is further underlined by the fact that Darwin is actually our oldest note - by two years. Why isn't he being replaced?

This matters.

It matters because young women growing up see a parliament that is 57th equal in the world when it comes to female representation; a media where only 1 in 5 experts is a woman; and a business world where female directors represent only 16.7% of the total.

Currency, as its name suggests, is fundamental to our daily lives. These notes will change hands every hour, every minute, every second. And every time they do, the message will drive a little deeper home: women do not belong in public life - they never have, and they never will.

We call on the Bank of England to reverse this decision, and not add another straw to the establishment weight on the shoulders of young women telling them that they will amount to nothing - after all, their mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers didn't. Why should they be any different?

Reverse the decision to replace the only woman on English banknotes with a man. This decision perpetuates the damaging myth that women have contributed nothing to history, and adds to the still persistent sense amongst young women that public life is not for them. We recommend Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Seacole or Rosalind Franklin as suitable replacements.

[Your name]

Supporters: to sign the petition, go to this link: 


Press coverage


  1. Here we are on BBC Radio Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

    Note: This broadcast is no longer availbale on the iPlayer.

    BBC Radio Yorkshire

    Great infographic about global representation of women on banknotes!

  2. Caroline Criado-Perez
    Petition organiser

    Thanks to @sebastiansalek for this


  3. We're on the front page of the Huffington Post!

    Caroline Criado-Perez
    Petition organiser
  4. And now in the Daily Mail!

    Caroline Criado-Perez
    Petition organiser


  5. We're in the Guardian!

    Caroline Criado-Perez
    Petition organiser


  6. We've collated the best suggestions so far of women for the banknotes

    Caroline Criado-Perez
    Petition organiser


    If you think anyone's missing do tweet us so we can add them to the list!

  7. We were on BBC Woman's Hour this morning - listen again here!

    Caroline Criado-Perez
    Petition organiser

    WH BBC

  8. The Bank of England Responds

    Caroline Criado-Perez
    Petition organiser

    Thank you to all who've signed! I guess with 5000 emails the BoE's inbox was getting pretty flooded ;) However, their answer is predictably patronising:

    They explained how long 'eminent British personalities' have featured on bank notes (thank you for that, we wouldn't have thought to look it up on Wikipedia) and explained the selection criteria: 'indisputable contribution to their particular field of work, recognised with the benefit of lengthy historical perspective, and about whom there exists sufficient material on which to base a banknote design' << that would explain why an ex-governor of the Bank of England is honoured, but not, you know, the woman who helped discover DNA.

    They then explain that not to worry, after Fry another note will be changed! This is of course completely unprecedented. They also kindly provided us with a link to the list of suggestions on their website - dominated by men.

    So thank you for this Bank of England, but sorry, no deal. Do better.

  9. We were on BBC Breakfast talking about the petition!

    Caroline Criado-Perez
    Petition organiser
  10. The Independent covers the campaign, including alternative suggestions

    Caroline Criado-Perez
    Petition organiser


    The #banknotes campaign made the Financial Times


    Brief mention in this Independent article about the London Review of Book's seeming inability to find female authors and reviewers.


    There are two appearances in The Times today! News story here


    and second article here.


    Today we also featured on  data-cke-saved-href=" News Sunrise (listen from 2mins).


    BBC Radio 4 Today


     Channel 4 News and the Channel 4 News website


    Stylist Magazine


    The Daily Mail, where the campaign was labelled a "furious feminist backlash"!


    The co-founder of the campiagn Caroline Criado-Perez spoke on BBC Radio Leicester about the #banknotes campaign.

    Note: no longer available on the iPlayer.


    Stella Creasy has rounded up 46 Labour MPs & Peers to sign a letter to the Bank of England and David Cameron asking for action on the #banknotes campaign. Featured in The Telegraph.


    The #banknotes campaign has reached Canada and The Globe & Mail!

    The #banknotes campaign has been featured in XOJane.

    Women in Engineering has written a letter to the Bank of England calling for a female engineer on banknotes! Featured in The Telegraph.


    Stella Creasy wrote a brilliant piece about the banknotes campaign in the New Statesman.


    BBC Woman's Hour had the co-founder Caroline Criado-Perez on to talk about our banknotes campaign.


    The legal challenge of the campaign has been featured in the Huffington Post.

    Huff Post

    News of the banknotes petition has reached the Scotsman!


    Very supportive article about the petition in The Telegraph.


    The Independent ran a great story about the #banknotes petition.


    They were featured in BBC Radio 4's PM following on from the Bank of England's poor response to the legal challenge about #banknotes.


    Caroline Criado-Perez was interviewed in The Journal of Wild Culture


    Lovely brief mention in a Guardian article about the revival of feminism.


    A legal challenge was made to the Bank of England under article 149 of the Equality Act; the story is covered in The Observer.


    We have been featured in a great Telegraph article on women and petitions!


    The Sunday Times - British Library List of 100 websites being saved for posterity!

    "The Women’s Room tackles the under-representation of women on expert panels and in the media. Will be a great source for biographies of fascinating women, and also show how issues of gender equality are played out in 2013"

    Huff Post

    An interview with Caroline Criado-Perez in the New Left Project.

    New Left



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