Languages
Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

China opens a 'women only' car park: Your views

Woman passes a car for sale in Beijing, file image

A shopping centre in China's Hebei province has built a car park with wider spaces that it says is designed especially to suit women drivers.

The women-only car park in Shijiazhuang city is also painted in pink and light purple to appeal to female tastes.

BBC News website readers have been telling us what they think of the idea.

COMMENTS FROM CHINA AND HONG KONG

It is apparently a business strategy. At least three floors of a shopping mall is dedicated to women's stuff while only one floor or sometimes even less is for men. So the decision of this shopping centre is simply to attract more women consumers.
Joe Rao, Shanghai, China

What a relief this would be for me! I DO need extra space when parking, despite how unpopular this might make me with feminists worldwide. I can park anywhere, but I don't like the anxiety of using cramped spaces and any help such as better lighting, helpful attendants or more space would be warmly welcomed. Sadly the reality is it will never happen in HK where space is tight at the best of times, but good for them in China. How fun to think they have actually come up with this idea.
Alison, Hong Kong

Cars driving past new developments in Beijiing, China.

It's great! I've had a driver's license for more than two years, but parking is still hard for me - I drive then let my husband park. This is really great for women!
Xiao Min, SH, China

Well, a good intention I'd say. But they could have just said these friendly parking berths are designed for those who need to feel less threatened. :)
TW, Hong Kong

I think that some guys will benefit from it too because some men are bad drivers. I don't think you should say it is for women drivers, but you should say it is more for disabled drivers, adults with children and people that have difficulty in parking!
Alan, Hong Kong

Most women would not be offended by this
Cheryl, Hong Kong

I think it is wrong to generalise that all women drivers are poorer at parking. Some of us can park very well, thank you very much. However, I think most women would not be offended by this, but may feel valued as customers. In HK, some shopping malls have a 3:1 ratio of ladies to gents toilets, which is very appreciated (even by the husbands and boyfriends). Anyway, I envy the mainland for having so much land they can even do this (in HK parking spaces are tiny). Not sure about the pink and lilac theme though!
Cheryl, Hong Kong

This is a brilliant idea and should be shadowed by other countries like Hong Kong where public car parks could only fit a mini or smart car in general. Shopping with ease of parking would certainly be great news to all women drivers. An allocation of an area for women drivers from an existing car park would certainly drive the business on the said shopping mall.
Sarah Chan, Hong Kong

COMMENTS FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD

All that I can say is that I'm a female and I drive and park the car much better than most males. Having a car park made especially for women implies that women are bad drivers and have no sense of co-ordination and this is just false. Being a good driver and knowing how to park well comes with experience. Confidence is also important, but a driver should also remember not to be over confident and have respect for the car they're driving and everything else around them. All these I think comes with experience.
Otherwise, Suva, Fiji

Cars parked close together

I think it's insulting. Maybe it's just me but I have no problems whatsoever getting into a parking space (and doing it correctly). If there is actually an issue with women not being able to park then perhaps teaching them to park would be an appropriate solution.
Sylvie, Ottawa, Canada

I don't know about women drivers, but wider car park spaces in all shopping centres would be helpful.
John Mast, Malvern, UK

I strongly believe that it's a step towards empowering women and making them feel appreciated. Other countries should consider taking such measures towards the minority, marginalised and those looked down upon as "weak" in the past. This happens mostly in the developing world. Let China keep the fire burning.
Kivunzyo, Nairobi, Kenya

Painting the structure in more 'feminine' colours and adding extra space is gross sexism
Natalie Hinkel, Tempe

I can understand having a car park for women purely for safety reasons - I have walked or run to my car before with keys clutched in my hands, as I'm sure many women can sympathize. So I believe that having additional monitoring and cameras is a great idea. However, painting the structure in more "feminine" colours and adding extra space is gross sexism. Clearly, it implies that because I'm a woman, pastel colours are appealing and I do not know how to park a car in a normal space, so much so that I require roughly one third more room AND an attendant to help me park. It would appear that the designers of this car park were really grasping to make it more "feminine", because enhanced security wasn't enough of a selling point.
Natalie Hinkel, Tempe, USA

I think they need to build a special car park for men too, paint it blue and make the spaces wider as well. It's not fair to leave out the men who also cannot park their cars properly!!!!!
Anon, Leeds, UK

Cars on a ring road in Beijing, China.

I feel, as a woman, I should be offended but if they built one in this country I'd use it. I have no trouble parking but I hate having to squeeze out of the car because the parking space is so tight you can barely open the door. Wider spaces are, of course, also very useful for women with children in the car. They should also build wider spaces for middle-aged men who park their precious mid-life-crisis Porches in the middle of two spaces so no one can come anywhere near them.
Melanie, Northamptonshire, UK

Well, I don't really have trouble parking, even reverse parking, and I'm female. I usually nail it on the first try, though I definitely choose agile, manoeuvrable cars when buying. But my mom finds reverse parking hard and I guess many women do. I personally would feel like I'm being talked down to, since I'm a pretty savvy driver - but from a practical view I suppose it fulfils a need, and is more inclusive.
Kirana, Kajang, Malaysia

I think it's quite ridiculous to be honest, verging on laughable! Are women really that bad at parking?!
Anthony Jones, Basingstoke, UK

It is a bit ridiculous and sexist, at least from a Western standpoint. However, I suppose women in China are not as confident as American girls, who were taught driving skills, in secondary schools, or by their parents. We in the US dream of receiving our learning permit at 16.5 years. And realistically hope to purchase a used car by age 18. I suspect we attain the necessary skills far earlier than the average Chinese girl.
Nadine Banton, Los Angeles, CA, USA

I regard it as patronising. It's an insult! Not all women drive like "women drivers". Sexism at its pinnacle for sure.
Sara, Cardiff, UK

Woman passes a car for sale in Beijing, file image

Wider parking spaces are a great idea, simply for the fact that many women have a difficult time opening the back doors wide enough in a regular parking space, to get their children out of their car seats. The reason given of "different sense of distance" is insulting and unnecessary. Women are superior drivers to men, proven by the fact insurance rates are lower. Also the added security is always a bonus.
Frances O'Toole, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

Good idea especially at night time when some women feel vulnerable walking through car parks late at night - bring one to the UK I say!
Michelle, Liverpool, UK

I think all parking spaces should be wider, not just for women, but for men and those people who have disabilities - it should be for everyone.
Phil, Leicester, UK

Great idea - long overdue. Most men would appreciate more space. Assistants helping guide drivers and better lighting will also deter crime in parking areas.
Stan, Ladysmith, BC, Canada

I strongly resent this gender stereotype
Lu Ismail, London

As a competent female driver I strongly resent this gender stereotype. I find it very worrying that the world's view of women seems to be going back in time!
Lu Ismail, London, England

I wish they had that for all women all over the world! I visit my family in Ireland and being a driver love the idea. I have no problem driving but parking is so difficult for me.
Anneline, Queretaro, Mexico

I think this is extremely sexist and wrong. They are saying that women don't have the ability to park, whereas I think both genders should be treated as equals, women pass their driving tests as do men. We have the same abilities as men.
Paige Wheeler, Wycombe, England



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
China opens 'women only' car park
28 Dec 09 |  Asia-Pacific


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific