Melbourne's 'female' pedestrian lights spark backlash

Melbourne's new "female" pedestrian lights have sparked mockery on social media.

Story highlights

  • Backers of the new lights say they are designed to combat "unconscious bias"
  • But some say it's discriminatory to assume the figure in pants is male and one wearing a dress is female

(CNN)Ten sets of pedestrian lights in the Australian city of Melbourne have had a makeover.

The standard red and green "men" have been replaced with "female" figures as part of an Equal Crossings initiative which launches this week, according to CNN affiliate 7 News.
    The change comes just before International Women's Day on March 8.
    "One example of gender inequality throughout society is the exclusive use of male symbols at traffic lights," said Equal Crossings in a statement posted to Twitter. This "symbolic disparity contributes to an ongoing unconscious bias in society that women are less equal than men."
    But the new figures have sparked outrage and mockery on social media.
    Some Australians are complaining it's backward and discriminatory to assume the conventional figure in pants is male and the new figure, wearing a dress, is female.