Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sweden slammed for 'sexist' street signs

Sweden slammed for 'sexist' street signs
Many streets in Stockholm's Old Town are named after historical figures. Photo: TT

Published: 11 Dec 2014 12:25 GMT+01:00
If you're strolling around one of Sweden's cities, it won't take you long to stumble upon a street referencing a typically Swedish name. Central Stockholm and Gothenburg both have 150 'name' streets each, while Malmö has around 80.
Some roads are known to celebrate historical figures, while the origins of others remains unclear. The Swedish capital is home to Jakobsgatan, Magnus Ladulåsgatan and Olafsgatan for example. Sofiagatan and Katerinavägen are a couple of the 'female' streets in the city.
This week, Statistics Sweden (SCB) has revealed that across the country, 2,060 street names include a man's name, while just 330 include a woman's.
Speaking to the TT news agency, analyst Marcus Justesen said "history" was a key factor, noting that many of the signs were more than a hundred years old. He noted that more recently added road names tended to be more diverse.
The Statistics Sweden study also found that roads named after men tended to be longer than those named after women. The average 'male' street is 450 metres long, while 'female' roads come in at an average of 380 metres.
A handful of Sweden's 283 municipalities do have more streets named after women than men: Södertälje, Sävjö, Uppvidinge, Emmaboda and Överkalix. But the study found that even where women were represented, they tended to be mentioned on road signs in the suburbs, rather than in central locations.
In 2011, Gothenburg's Cultural Committee decided that half of new streets referencing specific people should be named after women. But since then only a couple of roads have been given 'name' titles - none of them female.


Sweden "Slammed"? By who? All this article talks about is a study showing there are more male street names than others, and gives a reasonable explanation for why this is the case: Namely that most of the street names are very old, and relative women's equality is only a fairly recent thing.
Naming newer streets (which would tend to be in newer areas, hence the suburbs) after a more reasonable mixture of genders has been both suggested and adopted. I don't see where in this article is the controversy described in the misleading headline...

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