A number of Chinese parking lots connecting Zhejiang province to Jiangxi province in China’s southeast have sparked outrage after introducing “female only” parking spaces that happen to be much larger than those not assigned to a particular gender.
The spaces, designated by pink paint lines and the international symbol for woman, are 50 per cent wider than other spaces in the service centres. The reason – because women are allegedly bad at parking.
According to China’s Qianjiang Evening News, Pan Zhuren, director of the service area, said he decided to include the girls-only spaces after noticing that some female drivers were having trouble reversing into parking spots, or “parking carelessly.”
According to the report, the female only parking spaces were added to several lots in March, but have only recently stirred up outrage on Chinese social media sites, according to Quartz.
“True respect for women entails letting women enjoy the same rights as men,” said one user on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter.
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Zhuren has since stressed that the parking spots were designed to “better serve” female drivers and protect their safety, according to China Plus News.
This isn’t the first time parking lots have been accused of sexism.
Women-only parking spots have popped up before in China and have stirred up debate in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. According to a 2015 article in The Washington Post, many parking lots in Germany are equipped with bigger spaces for female drivers. In fact, in some regions in Germany the law forces parking lots to dedicate as much as 30 per cent of their spaces to women.
Interestingly, in the case of the German parking spaces, one publication suggested that the girls-only rule was discriminating against men.