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Parking spots just for women? Why Fredericton is considering it Add to ...

At first glance, the headline will likely get you riled: Fredericton is considering women-only parking spots. Prepared to go fisticuffs with whoever came up with such a sexist idea, right?  

We are excellent drivers, and we can parallel park with the best of them, thank you very much.  Can't you just see the Internet memes now? Forget the binders - parking spots full of women, anyone?

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But this isn't as awful as it sounds: The spaces aren't segregated on gender lines with the implication that women need easy, big spots -  like the lucky ladies in this German town

No, the driving force behind Fredericton's consideration is safety. Women should get the well-lit, closer-to-the-exit spot in a parking garage - or so the thinking goes.  

"It's entirely oriented towards safety or giving people a greater sense of safety and security in a fairly visible area which is desirable and promotes safety," city councillor Stephen Chase told News 889.

Even with its good intentions, the idea has many critics. 

"The logical - let me repeat that - logical solution would be to address the lighting and security issues for 'both' genders and proceed accordingly," writes TyGin, a commenter on the CBC web site.

He goes on to say, "women have been attacked in parking structures where there is darkness and poor lighting, but to designate a specific spot as 'women only' parking would only serve to 'isolate' women and expose them to even more danger by concentrating their presence." 

On Twitter, reaction is heated and divided.  "Fredericton has one of the highest rates of sexual assault in Canada," tweeted New Brunswick resident Bianca Gordon. "Remember that before making… jokes about the parking spot proposal."

What do you think? Is this a well-intended idea that could prevent crime? Or misguided and a little sexist? 

 

 

Follow on Twitter: @amberlym

 

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