Crosswalk traffic light discriminative?
Are crosswalk traffic lights bearing only male-shaped figures discriminative against females? For the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the answer is “yes.”
The city government is seeking to add female figures beside the male ones on every crosswalk traffic light in the capital. It has submitted a proposal to a policy-setting committee of the National Policy Agency (NPA) that female figures should be added to the traffic lights.
“It constitutes discrimination against women that only male figures are in crosswalk traffic lights,” the city said in the proposal.
In the proposed new signal, a couple wears pants and a skirt, respectively, in the red and green signs.
However, the move is drawing criticism from many citizens.
Changing the LED-traffic lights to “gender equality” ones is expected to cost about 24 billion won ($21 million). Many citizens ridiculed the plan, arguing that the city government will be wasting tax money for meaningless work.
“Do they really think the replacement can improve the rights of women? It’s not something worth more than 20 billion won at all,” an Internet user posted on a message portal.
Other people also criticized the plan, saying there were much more urgent issues the government should tackle rather than worrying about which figures traffic lights should bear.
“I hope they will spend the money for the poor, instead of wasting it on useless things,” 34-year-old office worker Gwon Young-jin said.
Some people, including many women, also question whether the signals are gender discriminative, finding fault with the city’s proposal. In representations of the new traffic lights released by the city, the new signals show two people — one wearing pants and the other a skirt.
“The idea that a woman should wear a skirt is more sexually discriminative, I guess. I think the figure in the current one doesn’t have any gender,” an Internet user said.
The NPA’s committee has shelved the city government’s proposal. However, the committee plans to re-discuss it if more data including cases in other countries is submitted.
남자 모양만 담고 있는 보행 신호등이 여자들에 대한 차별일까? 서울시는 그렇게 생각하는 듯 하다.
서울시는 남자 모양과 함께 여성 모양을 모든 보행신호등에 추가하려고 추진 중이다. 여성의 모양을 추가해야 한다는 제안서를 경찰청에 보낸 상태이다. 제안된 신호등에는, 한 쌍의 남녀가 바지와 치마를 각각 입고 있다.
하지만, 이 같은 시도는 시민들로부터 거센 반발을 사고 있다.
남녀 평등을 위한 신호등 교체 작업에만 240억 정도의 예산이 필요할 것으로 보여진다.
많은 시민들은 이 계획을 비난하며, 서울시가 세금을 낭비하고 있다고 이야기하고 있다. 또한 서울시가 좀 더 시급한 사항에 예산을 써줄 것을 당부하고 있다.
경찰청의 심의 위원회는 서울시의 제안을 거절하긴 했지만, 서울시가 추가적으로 해외 사례 등을 담은 자료를 제출 할 경우 재 심의할 계획이라고 밝혔다.