A SIGN at the Westgate Centre has been branded discriminatory after appearing to show a woman, in a dress, crouching over a baby as she changes a nappy.

A picture of the sign, which is on the bottom floor of the Oxford shopping centre, was shared on Facebook and sparked a debate with hundreds of comments.

Hada Moreno shared the picture on social media saying: "Westgate Oxford shopping centre. Please reconsider these posters! Equality?"

Some people made light of the 'snowflakes' – a term used for those who are easily offended.

But others said the sign 'sent the wrong message' and 'genderised' the roles of a parent.

At the Westgate, shoppers were calling for gender neutral signs.

Romi Boral said: "It is so important.

"The signs shouldn't show that it's a woman's job – parents share responsibility, fathers have the same job as mothers.

"Sometimes when you go out it's much harder for men to change a child in public places."

Read more: Children block the Westgate Centre car park for climate strikes

Oxford Mail:

The 30-year-old said even though the Westgate Centre has accessible changing facilities, the sign might make men uncomfortable in using them.

She added that there was 'no reason' why women are on the signs.

Gerard Sabate, who was shopping with his two-year-old daughter and wife, said: "The signs don't matter really, but sometimes you go out and the changing facilities are in the ladies toilets and you can't go in – sometimes they're in the disabled toilets, but not the gents.

"For the signs showing ladies only, wouldn't it be better if it was just a baby - with no man or woman? Sometimes there are gay couples ­— it's not just ladies who are parents."

Lucia, another shopper,said her husband finds it tricky to find places to change their child.

She said the Westgate Centre was quite accommodating, but the signs might not show this.

She said: "The signs should be gender neutral. I have noticed them and I think it's really important."

Oxford Mail:

This sign at the centre appears to show a gender neural image.

Ms Moreno told us that she posted the image on social media because she felt it could be 'discriminating' against men.

She said: "I felt that to associate the nappy changing activity to a typically depicting image of a female person could be discriminating against men.

"Some people showed concern from a feminist point of view about women being associated to the child-caring duty, whereas some people were concerned about dads being discriminated, other valid comments were about the long used sign of a woman wearing a skirt and not men. It is always useful to stop sometimes and reflect in little details like this to challenge our own views, to listen to others, and embrace or question change. A little debate never hurts and we learn more as a community."

The Westgate Centre was contacted for a comment, but shared a tweet instead which said that there were unisex changing facilities in the building.