Seoul removes women-only parking spaces in gender policy reversal

Article here. Excerpt:

'South Korea's capital Seoul is removing women-only parking spaces, 14 years after they were introduced as a protection for women.

The women-only spots had been instated in 2009 after a spate of violent crimes in basement car parks.

But city officials say such spaces aren't necessary anymore and will be converted to family parking spots.

Critics say their removal is just the latest example of anti-feminist policies in South Korea.

Chung Eun-jung, 55, said she uses the female spaces whenever she can find one: "I feel safer when I use them, that there are not so many dangerous people close by."

"When I get in the car, I always lock the door immediately," she said, adding that she was well aware of car park crimes, often reported in the news.

Her daughter said she was upset that her mother would feel less safe.
But male pilot Cho Young-jae thinks the women-only spaces need to go.

"These spaces do discriminate against men", the 34-year-old said.

"Walking 100 metres more does not make you less safe and these days parking areas are covered in surveillance cameras."

The women-only car spaces, which were first introduced in Germany in the 1990s, have been controversial in South Korea.

As some are longer and wider, critics argued they reinforced the stereotype that women find it more difficult to park. The actual reason they are bigger is because it was assumed that women, who take on most of the childcare in South Korea, would appreciate the extra space to get their children in and out of the car.

The city government plans to start converting the spaces at the end of March.'

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