Female traffic light signals
Female traffic light signals are installed at the intersection of two streets in Melbourne, Australia Stefan Postles/Getty Images

Pedestrian traffic lights with female figures have been installed in Australia as part of a push towards gender equality. The Committee for Melbourne, a non-profit organisation comprising more than 120 businesses and community groups in the city, is behind the move.

Ten female pedestrian figures have been installed on traffic lights at the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets in the city centre as part of a 12-month trial. The trial signals were installed on Tuesday 7 March ahead of International Women's Day.

Chief executive Martine Letts said having only green or red silhouettes of men discriminated against women. Speaking to ABC, she said: "The idea is to install traffic lights with female representation, as well as male representation, to help reduce unconscious bias."

Letts said the group wanted to see female and male representation on all pedestrian crossings. It cost around A$8,400 (£5,200) to change the selected traffic lights.

Minister for Women, Fiona Richardson, said there were "many small – but symbolically significant – ways that women are excluded from public space. This is a wonderful way to make public space more inclusive for women."

The move comes exactly a year after the Yarra district in Melbourne paid tribute to the city's' first female councillor, Mary Rogers, by placing her silhouette in a pedestrian crossing.

However there were mixed reactions to the move, including one from Senator Derryn Hinch.