Gender equality got the green light in Vilnius, quite literally this time. To celebrate the centenary of women’s voting rights in Lithuania, a number of the city’s pedestrian traffic lights received a makeover to include a female figure.
The new traffic lights were installed along a busy street right next to Vilnius’ largest business centres, and serve as a great reminder of how far women’s rights have advanced in the last century. The right for women to vote was written into the Lithuanian Constitution on 2 November 1918, putting it among the pioneer countries of women suffrage, and ahead of our French and American counterparts.
However, in addition to honouring the past, the female pedestrian lights also serve as a reminder that Lithuania, like many other European countries, needs to keep pushing forward to close the gender gap. Women still earn 14% less than their male colleagues and only 17% of women hold executive positions in Lithuania.
The use of female symbols for pedestrian traffic lights is still rare in the world; they are commonplace in only a handful of countries. Swedbank sponsored this particular initiative in Vilnius, and will take part in the centenary events celebrating female power in Lithuania.