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Minor girl gets New Zealand to change sexist road signs

Published : Tuesday, 31 July, 2018 at 11:33 AM Count : 364

The signs indicate that people installing or fixing power lines are working in the area. Photograph: Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

The signs indicate that people installing or fixing power lines are working in the area. Photograph: Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

The New Zealand Transport Agency will update its signs from “Linemen” to “Line Crew” after receiving a letter from a seven-year-old who pointed out that “women can be line-workers too”.

The letter was written by Zoe Carew who became incensed when she saw the “Linemen” signs – which indicate that people installing or fixing power lines are working in the area – while on her way to visit her grandparents in the city of Eastbourne.

“Why does the sign say ‘Linemen’ when the people working on the lines may be men or women? I think this sign is wrong and unfair. Do you agree?” Carew wrote in a letter to Fergus Gammie, the chief executive of the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).

“I don’t really want to be a line-worker when I grow up because there are so many more exciting things I would like to do, but some girls might want to learn to linewomen.

“Can you please change the sign to say ‘Line-workers’ instead, or something else correct and fair like that,” she asked.

Gammie wrote back to Zoe, in a letter that Zoe’s proud mother shared on Facebook alongside her daughter’s original note. The chief executive commended her for her suggestion and “for taking action where you think something unfair should be fixed. Well done.”

He said the NZTA agreed with Zoe but informed her that her suggestion of “line-workers” would require the size of the signs to be increased.

He said “line crew” would fit on the signs and that the NZTA would change its sign specification approvals to reflect this.

“The new signs will replace the old ones when they need replacement due to wear and tear, this may take some time,” he said.

The Guardian/SU



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