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  1. ITV Report

Proactive seven-year-old girl Zoe Carew gets sexist road signs changed in New Zealand

The sign for staff working on power lines in Auckland, New Zealand, that seven-year-old Zoe Carew complained about. Credit: PA

A proactive seven-year-old girl in New Zealand has convinced the country's transport agency (NZTA) to replace its "wrong and unfair" road signs to be more inclusive to women.

Zoe Carew knew it was not right when she saw people working on power lines near the road near a warning sign which read "LINEMEN."

Zoe explained in an email to the head of the NZTA in June that she and her father saw the sign on the way to her grandparents’ house near Wellington.

She said: "I wondered why it said 'men' when women can also work on the power lines."

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Zoe’s mum Caitlin Carew posted the email exchange on Twitter this week: "So proud of my 7yo...High 5s all round!"

In her email, the schoolgirl said: "I don't really want to be a line-worker when I grow up...but some girls may want to learn to be linewomen."

She added: "I think that this sign is wrong and unfair. Do you agree? Can you please change the sign to say "LINE-WORKERS" instead, or something else correct and fair like that."

The email was a success for Zoe as the NZTA chief executive Fergus Gammie agreed with Zoe’s concerns.

Mr Gammie responded to Zoe: "I commend you for your suggestion and for taking action where you think something unfair should be fixed. Well done."

Line-workers construct and maintain power and cable lines. Credit: AP

The transport agency chief executive said Zoe’s suggested wording would require larger signs but "LINE CREW" would fit on signs of the same size.

The agency also congratulated Zoe on social media as they tweeted: "Great ideas can come from anyone, including seven-year-olds!"

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He added the change would be included in the agency’s specification approvals soon and "this may take some time."

But he also invited Zoe to have a photograph with him and the new sign.