Chinese Mall’s Parking Spaces for Women Criticized

October 17, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. sexist /ˈsɛk sɪst/ (adj.) – having degrading or mistaken views toward a certain gender
Example: Women activist groups condemned the sexist remarks of the male celebrity.

2. discriminating /dɪˈskrɪm əˌneɪtɪŋ/ (adj.) – showing preference for someone or something that seems desirable or favorable
Example: Some companies have discriminating judgment against short applicants.

3. laud /lɔd/ (v.) – to give good remarks on something
Example: Authorities lauded the mall’s initiative to designate parking areas for women.

4. safety measure /ˈseɪf ti ˈmɛʒ ər/ (n.) – set of actions and guidelines for safety purposes
Example: The mall improved its safety measures after the recent accident.

5. indecisive /ˌɪn dɪˈsaɪ sɪv/ (adj.) – having poor ability to solve issues and make sudden decisions
ExampleIndecisive managers are not good for companies.


Read the text below.
A Chinese shopping mall’s female-dedicated parking space received mixed reactions over issues on gender equality.

The World Metropolis Center in the northern port city of Dalian [DAH-LYAHN], China offers more convenience to its female customers by providing 10 parking spaces near the main entrance.

Designed primarily for women who struggle with parking in basement slots, the parking spaces outside the mall is 30 centimeters or almost 12 inches wider than normal. Also, the spaces are painted in pink and has a “Respectfully reserved for women” sign written in Chinese.

While the special parking slots are beneficial for women, some Chinese netizens accused the mall’s management of being sexist and discriminating against female drivers. One commenter even said that the parking areas were an insult rather than a sign of respect for women.

However, some Chinese citizens still lauded the mall’s new parking areas. One female user admitted that women drivers have some troubles with parking. Thus, she believes that wider parking spaces are very convenient.

Meanwhile, mall manager Yang Hongjun, who is a woman herself, denied the accusations regarding the discrimination. She said that the management just wanted to improve the shopping experience of women and to provide safety measures for their customers.

China is not the only country that offers parking spaces for female drivers. Countries like South Korea and Germany also provide such specialized parking area.

While women are not generally considered as bad drivers, authorities believe that some women are. A note from the Beijing police’s microblog stated that some female drivers lack sense of direction and are often indecisive on which road to take.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you approve of the mall’s move to provide specialized parking areas for women? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think women are sometimes generalized as bad drivers?

Discussion B

·         What special rules are beneficial to women in your country? Kindly discuss.
·         Why do you think gender equality is a big issue in the society?

October 17, 2014