A service area parking lot in southeast China has sparked an online debate after introducing wider “women only” parking spots.
The Tonglu Service Area, located along the Hangxinjing highway connecting Zhejiang province and Jiangxi province, put in place pink-outlined parking spots with the universal symbol for women in the middle. The parking spots are 50% wider than normal.
Pan Zhuren, who directs the service area, told the Qianjiang Evening News that he decided to put the women-only spots after noticing some female drivers struggle to reverse into parking spots as well as women who were “parking carelessly.” Pan explained:
“Yes, these are parking spaces ‘customized’ for women. It’s part of [a set of] measures we’ve introduced to humanize the service area.’
Pan later told China Plus News that the spots were only designed to “better serve” women drivers and protect their safety.
Of course, not everyone on the internet sees the situation as Pan does. One user on Weibo commented:
“True respect for women entails letting women enjoy the same rights as men.”
The concept of female-only spots is not new and has been put in place outside many malls in China in the cities of Chongqing, Shanghai, Shijiazhuang, and Dalian, and in rest stations in Sichuan province.
One German publication even suggested that women-only parking spots were discriminating against men.