Wider parking spaces for women in China

Larger women's parking space

​You may well think sexism is (rightly) being stamped out in the world, but a picture currently flying around a microblogging website would suggest this isn't the case.
A shopping centre in China has created 10 parking spaces designed for the use of women. If that wasn't bad enough the spaces are edged with pink lines, are wider and are positioned close to the shopping mall's entrances.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the special pink parking spaces at the World Metropolis Centre, Dalian, are daubed with the words "Respectfully reserved for women" and measure 30cm wider than the centre's standard (presumably unisex) parking spots.

Understandably Twitter reacted strongly to the picture's appearance on the Chinese microblogging website Weibo. One user tweeted: "Not sure if I should laugh or cry." Meanwhile, a blogger on the Weibo, said: "Isn't that insulting females' driving ability?"

However, the shopping mall thinks the spaces are entirely appropriate. Manager Yang Hongjun told an Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter in the Shanghai Daily: "If their parking spaces are larger, it's only for practical reasons. It doesn't mean that women drive less well than men."

The World Metropolis Centre isn't the only Chinese shopping mall to create female-only spaces, however. According to the Wall Street Journal, one underground parking garage at the Wonder Mall in Hebei was reserved for women in 2010. Parking bays were roughly 80cm larger while instead of numbers, 12 animals from the Chinese zodiac were painted on the walls to make it easier for women to remember where they had parked their cars.

The practice isn't isolated to China either. In 2009, Seoul had nearly 5,000 spaces pinked pink while in Baden Wurttemberg, Germany, 10 per cent of parking spaces in large garages must be for females near entrances, city regulations dictate.

Do you think the practice of creating women-only spaces is sexist? Let us know what you think by posting your comments below...
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