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Wider parking spaces for Chinese women drivers at Dalian shopping mall

Published on Jul 19, 2014 4:03 PM

DALIAN, China (AFP) - The parking spaces outside a Chinese shopping mall are distinctive: marked out in pink, signposted "Respectfully reserved for women", and around 30cm wider than normal.

The slots at the Dashijiedaduhui - or World Metropolis - centre have sparked debate in China, which officially embraces gender equality but where old-fashioned sexism is rife in reality.

The mall, in the centre of the northern port city of Dalian, has little to distinguish itself from thousands of other retail complexes that have sprouted across the country as part of a vast urbanisation drive.

It boasts chain clothing stores, fast food franchises, glass lifts, a cinema and the inevitable Starbucks, a favourite hangout of China's new middle class.

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