SEOUL, Dec. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — Debate continues over reserved seats for pregnant women on subway trains, seven years after they were first introduced.
While some say that a culture that looks after pregnant women has taken root, others argue that such culture is based on fear that people who are not pregnant would be subject to ridicule when they sit in a reserved seat.
In fact, recent posts on social networks include photos of men or the elderly sitting in reserved seats, criticizing them for their poor manners.
Reserved seats for pregnant women have turned into a source of moral conflict.
Some argue that reserved seats are a result of a failed administration that did not consider the realities of Seoulites using the subway, or that they have turned into seats just for women, even for those who are not pregnant.
On the other hand, others still call on the need to leave the reserved seats empty for pregnant women, particularly for those who are in the first trimester of pregnancy and cannot be distinguished by physical appearance, since it is difficult for many pregnant women to work up the courage to ask a passenger to give up their seat.
Only a few countries have introduced reserved seats for pregnant women on subways, which is only exacerbating the conflict.
Some argue that reserved seats should be replaced with an alternative to put a stop to all dispute over the reserved seats program.
“Reserved seats for pregnant women should be abolished. Instead, we need to foster a culture that readily offers seats to the elderly, pregnant women, and whoever is in need,” said professor Jeong Jae-hun from Seoul Women’s University.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)