Why is there no woman in our money?
After 5 portraits of men, another appears on the Albanian banknote. The portrait of our poet of the National Renaissance, Asdreni, will be the last in the 10,000 lek denomination that will appear on the market for the first time on June 30.
We have had almost no female figures among them since the ‘90s. During communism, banknote denominations had a more visible Albanian female portrait, although due to ideology they were more cooperative.
Today we do not have these restrictions, we do not have women in our banknotes.
Do we not have important female figures and contributions in certain fields of education and science in Albania? Has there been any female figure that has been discussed placement on a banknote recently?
The author of the first banknote under communism, Pëllumb Vreka, says that we have prominent women with certain contributions, but according to him the problem lies with the commissions that are set.
"In our country it is not that there were no prominent women, but the problem lies with the commissions which are composed of financial people or economists, who do not even know how to style a national banknote. For example, Skanderbeg was placed in the 1000 green lek of 1992, now in the new five thousand another Skanderbeg, with the appearance of a monk, this is an example of the incompetence of the commission ", says Vreka.
Even the historian Ardit Bido, at the same time the director of the Archives, says that with Queen Teuta, we are a little vanguard compared to some countries, but this is not enough.
"We can say that we are among the first countries in the world that we have seen a woman (Queen Teuta) everyone in lek coins. More will be needed, but at least we are at the forefront in this regard. "But this should by no means make us complacent because it is not enough," says Bido.
The definition of the theme contained in each banknote is carried out by a commission that is specially set up and is attended by academics and prominent personalities.
The Bank of Albania says that the banknote shows the figure that represents the most important developments in the country.
"The theme represented on the banknote is a very important process, as it should represent and express the most important moments of economic, social and political development of the country and the nation, the theme should be unifying and accepted, to appreciate the contribution of figures of national importance that have left traces in the history of the Albanian people ", says the press office of the Bank of Albania.
As for the female figure, the Bank is more reserved, but points out that we have the figure of Queen Teuta in the 100 lek coin. To the question whether there was any female figure that was discussed in the committee recently, the Bank does not give a definite answer.
"The figure of the woman, despite not being reflected on any of the Albanian banknotes in circulation, is valued and represented by the figure of Queen Teuta on the 100 lekë denomination coin with legal tender, as well as on the 200 lekë numismatic coins of Mother Teresa, and produced in gold ”, the Bank continues.
But what are the female figures who have made history in Albania and why should not they be "stamped" on banknotes?
Vreka reveals that Mother Teresa, a figure as historical as she is dear to Albanians, did not want to be part of the banknotes.
"We have prominent figures, Mother Teresa, but in those years when I was building the new banknote after breaking with the Chinese, Mother Teresa proposed that we put it on the banknote. "Not only did she not accept, but she prayed that even after her death she would not be placed on the banknote", says Vreka.
Meanwhile, the historian Ardit Bido lists a series of female figures who have made contributions in certain fields, and why they could not be the "face" of this banknote.
"Among Albanian and Illyrian women, local and universal personalities have stood out, who, not from what they are, but from what they have done, have dominated or stood out in various fields. From the leadership of the state (Queen Teuta), war (Nora of Kelmendi and Shote Galica), holiness, generosity and universalism (St. Teresa of Calcutta), science (Musine Kokalari), renaissance intellectualism (Elena Gjika / Dora d'Istria), sports (the only Albanian medalist in the Olympics Majlinda Kelmendi), education (Parashqevi and Sevasti Qiriazi), heroism (Mosko Xhavella and Margarita Tutulani), and in every sphere of social, scientific, sports, political and cultural life, Albanian women have shown their individuality. their, in addition to individuality, also the formation of a society of values ", says Bido.
According to Vreka, for the first time, the role of the Albanian woman became known in 1920, with Shaqe Marie Çoba, founder of the organization "Albanian Woman".
"The world of banknotes has not only heroines like Jean D'Arc, but also prominent women in science and education. We in our history have genuine teachers, excellent activists e.g. Shaqe Marie Çoba, from Shkodra, who died on August 3 in 1920, founded the organization "Albanian Woman", with the aim of protecting the rights and freedoms of Albanian women. But to whom should you tell the bank committee that determines the figures? "If you told them that, they would tear their eyes out in surprise," says Vreka.
Specialist Vreka says the figures that could be accepted on the banknotes are Dora D’istria, Edith Durham and Shote Galica.
"Dora D'Istria could be. Shote Galica is also accepted after fighting against foreigners. Edith Durham is accepted in the same way as the Qiriazi sisters (Sevasti and Parashqevi Qiriazi), who worked for a common cause of Albanians. That is, he should not be a figure with a party wing or with a war wing ", says Vreka, while denying as a name" Musine Kokalarin no, because she was just an opponent of Enver, like many of his former collaborators ".
Vreka concludes by saying that: "the issue of banknotes remains as delicate as it is important because women have heroines or activists, but there is no will".
In a society that has gone from one turmoil to another and in a series of wars and battles, the female figure has always been at the forefront of these challenges and thanks to them we have a better society today.
But, despite this, still for a long time, Albanians will see "a face" of a man on the banknote.
But who and when will reflect on the role of the female figure or are we far from such a reflection ??