/ Motoring

Women-only parking spots? No thanks

Woman looking bored in car

Is the ability to manoeuvre a vehicle into a parking space really determined by gender? City planners in Seoul, South Korea, seem to think so.

Thousands of women-only parking spaces have just been created in South Korea’s capital city Seoul. Not only are they wider and longer than standard spaces, they are also outlined in pastel pink and have a crude depiction of a woman on them.

Surely making spaces that are only reserved for women discriminates against men? I’ll happily applaud the provision of larger spaces with better access for disabled people or parents – of either sex – who are travelling with small children. But, to me, these women-only spaces are plain wrong.

Other measures taken in Seoul make more sense – the new spaces are better-lit and closer to stairs and escalators, improving security for women. But don’t men get mugged in sub-standard car parks too? Surely the money would be better spent on improving all the lighting and security in public car parks, so they’re safer for everyone.

Better parking

For the record, as part of my job as Cars Editor, I drive a different car almost every day of the week and rarely have too much trouble parking, but I have relatives who do find reversing into a tight space a challenge. Surely the answer is for them to practise, or get a car with parking sensors or cameras to make it easier. Or even one that parks itself, as these are becoming far more common.

Korea apparently isn’t the only country to have woman-only parking . According to Auto Express, China, Kuwait, Malaysia, Indonesia, Austria and Italy also have spots for women. Long may they stay away from the UK?


The security issue should not be underestimated. I remember being involved in a shopping centre development in the 1980’s. The Council’s head of leisure was adamant that secure spaces should be provided for female staff working unsocial hours. The information he produced about incidents and the difficulty of recruiting female changing room staff was very disturbing.

The long-term answer is self driving cars which can park themselves away from secure drop-off points.

Well as supermarkets can’t prevent the able bodied and childless from parking in disabled/ buggy bays I doubt there’s little point in having a female only bays, as they’ll only get abused.

In my local supermarket you quite often see cars parked occupying more than 1 bay so parking seems to be a wider issue so should be addressed as such. And these aren’t people carriers either 🙁

If old carparks were replanned to allow for the fact that cars are considerably larger than they were when many carparks were built (King Edward Court in Windsor, I’m looking at you!), then it wouldn’t matter.

This can’t be a new phenomenon though, can it? Was parking better taught in driving lessons in the past?

tony says:
6 June 2014

I dread parking in a supermarket next to a car that has a woman driver because they are so careless with doors, trolllleys etc.
I often see them markng up other peoples cars.

The men drivers worry me just as much. You will find my car in the quiet far corner of the supermarket car park at a respectful distance from others who don’t want to have to take their cars for dental treatment. 🙂

I Love My Car says:
6 June 2014

Shame on your comment Tony.

I am a woman driver who takes great care of my car. There are inconsiderate people of both sexes and all ages who have no respect for other peoples property.

tony says:
6 June 2014

I think it would be best to segregrate so men could park up safely without the worry.

Sophie Gilbert says:
7 June 2014

Because of undeniable anatomical differences, we women can’t throw spears as far and with as much accuracy as men, and we can’t carry as heavy game on our backs as men back to the cave (women probably invented the wheel). This doesn’t mean that we are stupid and incapable.

This seems to still escape most men (and unfortunately some women) in the world. (It makes me love men whom it doesn’t even more). Or men know that we are their equals in most things and it scares the beejeesus out of most of them and one way or another they manage to clamp down on us. Even in this mostly enlightened country.

Humans need easy and safe parking. End of.

Clifford Herman says:
18 February 2015

Ha Ha Ha. What a laugh. What a ridiculous thought. My wife would have an offensive fit if she is treated this way as if she is a ‘donut’ who does not know how to drive. I hope all women would feel offended just at the thought, and all the sexist remarks on this forum. Its a shame we don’t talk about the idiotic male drivers who don’t care how they drive, and think the road and the parking area belong to them.