Feminists mostly — but not unanimously — hail female on currency

PM's proposal to feature Canadian woman on dollar in 2018 wins support

Princess Patricia: First woman to be on Canadian currency.
Princess Patricia of Connaught was the first woman — though not Canadian — to be featured on Canadian currency.

Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau announced last week a Canadian woman will appear in the next series of bank notes. Feminists and gender equality organizations responded almost — but not entirely — unanimously with positive responses.

“it’s a good thing to have women featured as role models — even on money,” said Joanne Green, a member of Opportunity for Advancement Canada.

But feminist activist and law student Karine Correa said putting a female face on a Canadian dollar bill in 2018 was like “giving a consolation prize to women.”

“If there isn’t a change in our male chauvinist culture, there is no tribute that will change the society as a whole,” Correa said.

Apparently, Canada had a woman on one dollar bills released during the First World War.

Princess Patricia of Connaught was British and historians referred to her as the “very pinnacle of smart society.” She moved to Ottawa and, due to being a part of British royalty, the princess was exempted from immigration status according to the 1910 Immigration Act.

However, no Canadian woman has achieved the honour of being on our money.

The woman to be featured on the currency is still to be decided. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada set up a public consultation to assist on the decision.

“It’s a good move, generally speaking,” said Justin Trottier, CEO of Canadian Association for Equality. “We discussed it as a group and a few names even came up. It’s a positive idea.”

This announcement is, however, just the tip of the iceberg, according to Correa. She believes that women’s rights, from a bank note to the wage gap and including sexual violence, are not even close to be resolved.

“We are abused every day in many ways,”Correa said. “It’s on the street when men look at us in a malicious way, and even our bosses that put us in more fragile jobs just because we are women.”