Pink parking spots, wider and longer than regular parking spaces, are coming to Seoul as part of a $700 million/four-year project to make the South Korean capital more female-friendly. Yup, you read that right: separate parking spots for women that are meant to improve their quality of life and increase gender equality in the Asian country.
The spots, in addition to being wider and longer, are better-lit and marked by a mini-skirted logo as such:
The Seoul plan, according to the Korea Times, is part of a larger initiative to make the city more women-friendly.
“As more women engage themselves in social life, their desire to improve the quality of life and demand for public support is increasing,” Assistant Mayor for Women and Family Affairs Cho Eun-hee told to the publication. “It is like adding a female touch to a universal design and make things more comfortable for women.”
It’s not clear if male drivers who park in the female spots will receive a fine, or how the parking system is going to be enforced. The policy has already received some criticism, with Huffington Post UK writing, “And now for the latest news from the world of staggeringly patronizing things.” It’s worth noting that in 2012, a city in Germany mandated its most difficult parking spots “male-only.” The laws play into stereotypical notions that women are bad drivers.
Some other initiatives in the works include making sidewalks crack-free so that women’s high heels do not get stuck in them, more female-only toilets, supplying nursery school’s with televisions so that parents can watch their children from work, and providing niche-market jobs for housewives with nursing or teaching licenses.
“The ultimate idea of `Women Friendly Seoul’ is that when a woman is happy, everyone is happy. It is not like women taking men’s share of the pie,” Cho said. “When equipped with hardware ― social facilities considering women ― and software ― the caring mind of women ― Seoul can truly be women-friendly. A woman’s happiness is a barometer of society’s happiness.”