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China sparks sexism row after introducing female-only parking spaces

A Chinese car park has sparked a sexism row after introducing extra wide parking spaces for women.

The parking spaces in Hanghzhou on the east coast of China are currently being trialled because ‘woman have difficulty parking in reverse’, according to a report in the Quanjiang Evening News. Eight of the car park’s 370-space capacity are now female-only.

Besides being larger and therefore easier to park in, the spaces feature pink lines and a pink female icon on the floor, as confirmed by a photography uploaded to Chinese Twitter equivalent, Weibo.

Tonglu Service Area cark park director Pan Zhuren confirmed the news: “Yes, these are parking spaces ‘customized’ for women. It’s part of measures we’ve introduced to humanize the service area.” He also said females had requested them.

Feminists have obviously taken issue with the news. One Chinese poster said: “Where are the feminists? This is such obvious gender discrimination.”

Another noted: “If you’re going to discriminate against women like this, why don’t we get larger parking spaces when we’re taking our driving tests then?”

Ignoring the fact female-only spaces is also sexist towards men, as they are unable to use them, some have (bravely) welcomed the idea. Another poster said: “They’re just offering them to women who aren’t good at parking. It’s a great idea! Where’s the discrimination?”

China often receives flack from the Western world for sexism, but the same issue has occurred closer to home. Germany introduced ‘women’s only’ car parking spaces – also in pink and wider than a normal space – in 2015 at Frankfurt Airport.

South Korea also came under fire for its “patronising” pink-outlined spaces in the capital of Seoul, although in its defence they are the same size as the rest and located nearer the entrance to aid access for women and children.

Figures released by the Official Driving Statistics Agency actually found women were much more likely to commit a driving fault during their test when parking.

However, there have been numerous reports that suggest women are actually safer than men behind the wheel, with one claiming men are 20 per cent more accident prone than the fairer sex and have double the number of penalty points.

While the UK is yet to see any parking spaces aimed at the ladies and probably never will, maybe it’s time for all parking spaces to grow in size? Not because men and women alike can be rubbish at slotting a car between white lines, but because the modern car is bigger than ever.

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