Jena Gotziaman, Kayleigh Rockett and Krysti Gotziaman under a digitally altered pedestrian light. Picture: Jason Edwards
Jena Gotziaman, Kayleigh Rockett and Krysti Gotziaman under a digitally altered pedestrian light. Picture: Jason Edwards

Push for pedestrian lights to be both male and female

AN INFLUENTIAL Melbourne based lobby group is pushing for half of the little red and green men on Victoria's traffic lights to be changed to women - in a bid to promote gender equality. 

The Herald Sun reports the Committee for Melbourne, which comprises more than 120 businesses and community groups, was successful in lobbying the Victorian Government to trial the initiative. 

The Committee's chief executive Martine Letts explained the intention behind the plan to the ABC.

"The idea is to install traffic lights with female representation, as well as male representation, to help reduce unconscious bias," she said.

"The aim is to move towards one-to-one male and female representation across the state of Victoria."

The trial will involve ten sets of lights and the estimated cost of the initiative is $14,000.

Evan Mulholland, from the right wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, told the Herald Sun it was an example of political correctness gone mad.

"They should be putting their time and energy into fixing congestion on our roads (and) the Victorian Government should retreat from this politically correct trial and get on with practical solutions to deal with congestion," he said.

VicRoads director Brendan Pauwels said he was swayed, in part, by his eight-year-old child who asked why the crossing symbols were always men. 

"To me that's good enough reason to support it," he said.

His view was supported by Victorian Labor's Equality Minister Martin Foley who told the Herald Sun: "Maybe there is such a thing as unconscious bias, maybe the symbols that we present to our kids and to others really do have an impact on us."


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