Female road sign rejected

TT/The Local
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Female road sign rejected

A local authority which wants to erect road signs featuring female characters in the interests of gender equality has had its initiative vetoed by national authorities.


Hässleholm Municipality designed a new sign to mark pedestrian crossings on roads in the town. Instead of the traditional male figure - known in Sweden as Herr Gårman, which translates as both 'Mr walk man' and 'This is where you walk' - council roads chief Anders Servin designed a 'Fru Gårman'.

Servin said the female figure was "very feminine."

"Equality is important," he said.

"This has also been fun for Hässleholm, as we are first in the country."

But the project has now been vetoed by the Swedish National Roads Administration (Vägverket). It points to laws that state that a new road sign may not erected if it could be confused with an existing design.

Now Hässleholm is demanding that the administration list 'Fru Gårman' as a legal sign, but officials at the administration say that the government would probably veto the idea.

"For us to consider the case we would need to believe it could succeed, and the government has so far not been positive. We have already received a number of requests for 'Fru Gårman' signs," said Chester Bernsten at the administration.


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