A controversial push to include symbols representing female pedestrians on traffic signals in Melbourne has divided public opinion.
Today, on the eve of International Women’s Day, the Committee for Melbourne lobby group will install 10 of the special lights at the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Streets to reduce “unconscious bias” against women.
Committee CEO Martine Letts said “unconscious bias reinforces stereotypes and influences daily decisions and attitudes”.
She said the initiative is aimed at sparking conversation and positively addressing the issues.
The committee’s long-term aspiration is to change the Victoria’s Road Safety Act to have equal representation of men and women on traffic signals.
Minister for Women Fiona Richardson said she was “thrilled” by the campaign.
“There are many small – but symbolically significant – ways that women are excluded from public space… This is a wonderful way to make public space more inclusive for women,” she said.
The campaign is also backed by the Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau, and the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia chair, Carol Shwartz.
Melbourne pedestrians his morning seemed divided by the idea. Some said it was a “nice touch”, while others argued it was “unnecessary and costly”.