SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Korea Bizwire) – Next year, specially designated parking spaces for pregnant women will be allocated in the parking lots of Seoul’s public buildings and facilities. Women who have given birth six months before or less are also allowed to use these spaces.
Though the general response to the city’s decision has been positive, certain voices have been less welcoming, calling for women-only parking spaces to be repurposed for pregnant women, rather than creating separate spaces.
Women only parking spaces were created under a city ordinance in 2009. Despite the wording, these spaces are actually meant as “women first” spots, meaning that men are neither barred from parking in these spaces nor will they fall afoul of the law if they do so.
However, it appears that some men who either felt judged negatively by others for using women only parking spaces or have in some way been denied use of these spots harbor negative emotions towards the parking distinction.
Women only sections in parking lots and subway cars have become the examples commonly referred to by some as evidence of reverse sexism.
Though the motivation behind the creation of these parking spaces was to ensure the safety of women, occurrences of violent crimes with female drivers as the targeted victim have raised questions over how much these areas protect women.
In 2015, a man kidnapped and murdered a woman while lying in wait in the women’s only parking area of a major supermarket. Later apprehended, the case was later dubbed the “trunk murder” and became a widely referenced example of the danger the establishment of women only parking spaces may have inadvertently created.
Just last year, cases of crimes against women, like one attempted robbery in the women only parking lot of a supermarket, were reported.
Figures provided by the police have revealed that nearly 10,000 crimes were committed in parking lots across the country in 2016, prompting calls saying increasing security personnel is a more pressing matter than creating more women only parking spaces.