Dec. 20, 2006
When Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s rights do you think this is what she had in mind?
Vienna to get gender-equal traffic and exit signs
A green exit sign shows a woman, rather than a man, running for the door, while a traffic light features another crossing the street in a new initiative by the City of Vienna to raise awareness about gender equality.
The campaign, launched on Thursday and entitled “Wien sieht’s anders” (Vienna sees it differently) is part of the City’s “Gender Mainstreaming” project.
Its aim is to “give both genders the same exposure and ensure an equal distribution of chances, opportunities and duties” by changing the gender of figures pictured on familiar signs, City Hall said in a statement.
“Because it clashes with fixed visual habits, the campaign compels (people) to think, look and act differently,” Sonja Wehsely, city councillor in charge of women’s affairs, said in the statement.
Thus, signs using male characters will have their female equivalent, while the opposite will also be true.
Female exit signs and pictograms in bathrooms featuring a man, rather than a woman, changing a baby, will be introduced at City Hall to start with, the statement said.
Seats reserved for the elderly and pregnant women on Vienna’s buses and trams will soon also picture a man carrying a child on his lap.