Victorian pedestrians could soon have an equal number of female and male walking signals in a big push for gender equality in the state’s road crossings.
The mere conversation sparked outrage among many who insist the push for more female shaped green and red-flashing lights is political correctness gone mad.
Lobby group the Committee for Melbourne doesn’t agree though, they believe the male silhouettes reinforce unconscious bias by discriminating against women.
“Unconscious bias reinforces stereotypes and influences daily decisions and attitudes … the Equal Crossings initiative will draw our attention to these issues in a practical and positive way,” Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts said.
“We have been voted the world’s most liveable city six times in a row, and we should also aim to be the world’s most equal city.”
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle wasn’t quite as an endorsing.
“I’m all for doing anything we can for gender equity, but really?” he said.
“Unfortunately, I think this sort of costly exercise is more likely to bring derision.”
The Equal Crossings initiative kicks off its campaign this week with 10 female pedestrian cutouts to be installed at the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets in Melbourne’s CBD.
While the trial is only set to be in place for 12 months, organisers have vowed to push for a permanent and equal amount of male and female silhouettes at Victorian road crossings.
Evan Mulholland, from free market think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs said there were surely better ways to spend the money.
“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.