• Spain's news in English
Women given green light in Spanish equality drive
Photo: Screenshot La Sexta

Women given green light in Spanish equality drive

Fiona Govan · 7 Mar 2016, 13:26

Published: 07 Mar 2016 13:26 GMT+01:00

The first gender balanced pedestrian crossings were installed on Monday in the bustling Carrer Xátiva opposite the bullring in the eastern city but many dismissed them as patronizing.

"It is a symbolic message launched from the street," city councillor Guiseppe Grezzi told Spain’s El Mundo newspaper of the measure.

The new symbols will be installed at twenty pedestrian crossings across Spain’s third largest city as part of a first phase, and will then be used to replace worn out lights to keep the cost to a minimum in the cash-strapped municipality.

The measure has been introduced in time to mark International Women’s Day by the new left wing city council led by mayor Joan Ribó of Compromís, a regionalist party backed by Podemos.

"We are going to incorporate the female symbols as and when the older lights become defective," explained Grezzi, a councillor from the traffic department.

But there has already been a backlash against the new symbols, with some slamming the addition of skirted stick figures as 'patronizing'.

"Dressing in trousers was a triumph for women. But now we are putting a skirt on the traffic lights in Valencia to feminize them," one Twitter user complained.

"I really don’t think anyone was offended by the use of a male silhouette to represent a pedestrian,” insisted Alberto Mendoza, a city councillor from the conservative Popular Party. "There are more important things to worry about."

It is not the first time a city has opted to use female silhouettes in an attempt at gender equality. The city of A Coruña in the northwestern region of Galicia was the first in Spain to introduce a quota of female signs at pedestrian crossings.  

Story continues below…

In Sweden, a similar attempt at equality left officials redfaced after complaints that the silhouettes of women had breasts that were "too perky". 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Fiona Govan (fiona.govan@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spanish elections: What are the possible outcomes?
The leaders of Spain's four main parties. Photo: AFP

Spaniards will cast ballots for the second time in six months in repeat polls on Sunday that may see the conservatives remain in power, even if many vote for left-wing parties.

Spain holds general election rerun amid Brexit after-shocks
The leader of Podemos casts his vote. Photo: AFP

Just days after a shock Brexit, Spaniards voted in repeat elections Sunday to decide if they too want a radical shift as promised by a far-left coalition led by Podemos.

Spain's Gasol heading to Rio Olympics despite Zika fear
“My commitment to the team is bigger than the fear of what may happen,” Gasol, left, said. Photo: AFP

Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol will go to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he announced in comments published Saturday, after considering skipping the Games due to fears over the Zika virus.

Radicalism or safety first? Spain wavers before vote
Podemos leader, Pablo Iglesias, on the campaign trail last week. Photo: AFP

How will the far-left do in Spain's second general election in six months?

Brexit: fresh calls for Catalan vote on secession from Spain
Separatists in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia have for years lobbied for an independence referendum. Photo: AFP

Could Brexit lead to the fracturing of Spain?

Gibraltar stands defiant against Spain after Brexit vote
Gibraltar's First Minister said there would be no negotiating with Spain. Photo: AFP

Gibraltar's Chief Minister made very clear that the British Overseas Territory would not bow to pressure from Spain after Brexit.

Anxiety over Brexit damage to UK-Spain bilateral trade

The Local canvassed the views of British businesses in Spain to see what they thought about Brexit.

View from the Costa: British expats fear time in sun is over
British people enjoy a drink on a terrace in Ohriuela. Photo: AFP

After Brexit, many British expats feared on Friday their golden time in the sun could be over...

Black Friday: Spanish markets plummet with news of  Brexit
The IBEX has fallen 12 percent since Brexit result. Photo: AFP

Spain’s IBEX suffered the worst fall in its history on Friday after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Rajoy: British expats will have same rights in Spain...for now
Rajoy urges Brits to keep calm and carry on. Photo: AFP

Spain's premier on Friday sought to reassure Britons living in Spain after the Brexit vote, saying that for now, they would keep the same rights to live and work there.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Spanish elections: What are the possible outcomes?
Worried after Brexit? Here’s how to become Spanish
Brit expats in Spain stunned and fearful after Brexit win
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
The intern's guide to surviving a summer in Spain
The weird and wonderful ways Spain celebrates midsummer
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
Spain REALLY wants Britain to stay in EU and here's why
Don't jump! Officials in Spain warn against 'balconing' craze
Girl's best friend: Four-year-old finds comfort with a bull
Hilarious video pokes fun at expats in Spain over Brexit
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
Spain knocked off top spot for world's best restaurant
Meet the Spaniard working as North Korea's secret weapon
Sheep invade Spanish city after shepherd takes a snooze
Five brilliant ways to beat the crowds in Barcelona
Experts warn of jellyfish boom across Spain's beaches
Are these the weirdest political campaign ads ever?
Giant inflatable poo goes walkies from town square
Spanish study proves fat really ISN'T bad for you
President Obama announces three-day visit to Spain in July
Couple found dead on yacht in Catalonia after 'drugs binge'
Hotting up! Spain set for hotter than average summer
'British expats could lose right to live in Spain' warns Rajoy
jobs available