A piece by Jamie Fullerton in yesterday’s Times:
Times caption: The parking spaces in Chinese service stations are said to be safer and more convenient for shopping
The introduction of women’s parking spaces — wider than standard slots [J4MB emphasis] and marked with pink signs and images of high heels — has reignited debate about sexist attitudes across China.
The spaces, which have appeared in service stations in the city of Hangzhou, in the eastern Zhejiang province, were condemned by many on Chinese social media, though large numbers of online commenters claimed they served a valid purpose.
Fang Hongying, a manager at the Jiande service station, told the Zhejiang Dailynewspaper that they had been installed at a cost of 70 million yuan (£8 million). “The women’s parking spaces are closer to the exits and monitoring systems, which is more convenient for female drivers to take a break or go shopping in the main building, and much safer at night,” she said.
Many social media users were not impressed by the explanation. “This is utterly sexist. Parking depends on driving skills, not gender,” one user of Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, wrote.
However, a survey of 1,700 Weibo users found that 63 per cent of respondents supported female-only spaces. [J4MB emphasis]
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