New Zealand sexist road sign changed by seven-year-old girl

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Power lines in Christchurch Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption New Zealand is changing its ‘linemen’ sign after Zoe Carew spoke out

A seven-year-old girl in New Zealand has convinced the country’s transport agency to change its road signs to be more inclusive to women.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is set to change signs that say “Linemen” to “Line Crew” after Zoe Carew pointed out that “women can be line workers too”.

Line workers maintain power, telecommunications and other cabling.

Zoe said that the sign was “wrong and unfair” to women who wanted to be line workers.

NZTA praised her suggestion, saying “great ideas can come from anywhere”.

Seven-year-old Zoe was upset when she saw the “Linemen” signs while on her way to visit her grandparents in the city of Eastbourne on North Island.

She was inspired to write a letter to the NZTA, urging it to change its signs.

“I wondered why it said ‘men’ when women can be line workers too,” said Zoe in her letter. “I don’t really want to be a line worker… but some girls might want to learn.

“I think this sign is wrong and unfair. Can you please change the sign to say ‘Line workers’ instead?” she asked.

Her mother, Caitlin Carew, posted her letter on Twitter where it was quickly shared by other users. She also shared a reply by the NZTA, who praised Zoe for her actions.

“I commend you for your suggestion and for taking action when you think something unfair should be fixed,” said Fergus Gammie, the chief executive of NZTA. “Well done.”

He said the NZTA would change the signs to read “Line Crew” instead of “Line workers” as the longer phrase would require the size of the signs to be increased.

Mr Gammie added that the replacement of signs “may take some time” but invited Zoe to have her picture taken with the new sign when the change was made.

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