Argentina unveiled a new 100-peso banknote this week featuring the image of Eva Perón, the country’s former first lady.
At a ceremony in which the design of the note was revealed, current Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said the note was a fitting tribute to Perón.
“It’s a homage that we don’t just owe to her, we owe it to ourselves,” said Ms Fernandez, who belongs to the Peronist party that has dominated Argentine politics since the late 1940s heyday of Mr Peron and his wife Eva, also known as Evita. “After 200 years it’s the first time that a woman appears on a bill, and if you have to honour the gender, who better than the figure of Eva?”
Fernández also said that though this bill was a short-run, commemorative note, she would like to see all new 100-peso notes to contain the image of Perón and replace the current image of Julio Argentino Roca, a 19th-century president.
Perón was a controversial figure during when she was Argentina’s first lady. She used her position to vigorously fight for social justice, particularly regarding the issues of class separation and poverty.
As first lady, Perón swiftly took control of two pillars of her husband’s government: the relationship with unions and handing government aid to poor citizens. While he focused on politics, she dominated the media with talk of improving living conditions for her ‘shirtless ones,’ reported The Guardian.
“Evita gave form to today’s Argentina in terms of working-class consciousness, respect for workers no matter their rank, awareness that workers have rights and that they must be respected. Before, workers lacked any rights and there was hardly any social legislation,” historian Felipe Pigna told the British newspaper.
Despite their limited quantity, the new bills will be legal tender but Argentina’s central bank has yet to say how many will be released and when they will enter circulation.