Melbourne has started a 12-month trial project to help fight “unconscious bias” towards women by installing female traffic lights. While streets in Melbourne will soon have at least 10 female lights, the goal is to have as many female lights as male ones.
According to ABC, “The Committee for Melbourne — a non-profit organisation comprising more than 120 Melbourne business and community groups — is behind the move.”
Chief executive Martine Letts said only having red or green silhouettes of men was discrimination against women.
It costs an average of $8,400 to change six traffic lights. Minister for Women Fiona Richardson said no taxpayer money had gone towards changing the lights.
Richardson defended the initiative saying, “There are many small — but symbolically significant — ways that women are excluded from public space.”
Victorian Governor Linda Dessau also defended the move. “Some people have expressed a little scepticism wondering whether it's gesture politics rather than having any real substance.”
“But these symbols are a practical and meaningful way to demonstrate that in fact 50 per cent of our population is female and should therefore also be represented at traffic lights,” she added.
SOUND OFF in the comments: do you think there are better things this money could be going towards?