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04 June 2006

Equal signs

Another blow against women's rights? Image source: Jason de Villa

Another blow against women’s rights?
Image source: Jason de Villa

JASON DE VILLA WRITES, in A Hundred Words A Day, about the mandatory signage shown above in one of Manila’s Mass Railway Transit (MRT) stations:

What were the operators of the MRT thinking? Lumping women, who have fought for decades against the image of being the “weaker sex,” with the elderly, children, and the disabled!

As a willing crusader for female rights—read my essay on female fortitude—I am with Jason on this. What appalls me are the very low taste levels and offensive judgment evident in making the signage. The physically challenged, both elderly and handicapped, correctly require such special treatment in a massive public facility like the MRT. However, by including the whole female gender in the category of preferential treatment, the message thus reads: “Women are physically challenged; they cannot be in the same place as men.”

Our generation has seen the most promising advances in ensuring the equality of men and women in the past 163 years. Perhaps we need a train station signage such as this to remind us that trains of thought are still arriving from a different direction . . . and that so much is yet to be done to redirect railways towards building a global society.

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