In a bid to promote gender equality and reduce everyday "unconscious bias", all pedestrian signage across 13 junctions between Mumbai's Dadar and Mahim will feature female pedestrians in traffic lights.
The initiative is part of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) 'Culture Spine' project, which includes footpath improvement and upkeep of gardens, from Siddhivinayak Temple to Mahim Police Station.
A pet project of Cabinet Minister Aaditya Thackeray, it involves improving and pedestrianising Caddell Road.
Signages featuring female pedestrians have already come up at some signals. Taking to Twitter to share the image of one such signage at Dadar, Thackeray said, "If you've passed by Dadar, you'd see something that will make you feel proud. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai is ensuring gender equality with a simple idea — the signals now have women too!"
According to a BMC official, pedestrian crossing featuring only men are discriminatory and reinforce everyday gender bias, reported Mumbai Mirror.
"The idea is to install traffic lights with female as well as male representation, to help reduce unconscious bias," Madhukar Pandey, Joint Commissioner of Traffic, was quoted by the media.
"These changes in symbols are in sync with gender sensitivity and a salute to women power. We welcome the initiative and have given our official support to the idea. It is an existing practice in many other countries," the official added.
The BMC will make the changes to 240 traffic signals and pedestrian crossing signages at the 18 junctions.
"We decided to change all 240 pedestrian signage at 18 junctions, from Siddhivinayak Temple to Mahim Police Station," said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant commissioner, G North Ward.
"At Shivaji Park junction all signage have already been converted. We will finish the work in two or three days," the official added.Also Read: North Delhi Municipal Corporation Schools Are Training Teachers On Transgender Identities, Sign Language