Is expat sexism alive and kicking in the Czech Republic?

Published:  16 Aug at 6 PM
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Expats are taking sides over controversy concerning female-only parking spaces in Prague.

Whilst parking spaces reserved for women drivers are commonplace in German and Austrian restaurants, outside motorway restrooms and in shopping mall basements, it’s not usual to find the facility in the Czech Republic’s capital of Prague. However, it seems that, should one be discovered, expat females take the provision as an insult as men don’t have the same designated facilities.

The few that do exist at the present time include a ten-year old example on the forecourt of a restaurant on the D10 highway, but the fast food chain’s female customers didn’t seem interested, thus preventing a roll-out of the idea across the country. According to the fast food chain’s female director, its female parking spaces were the same width as those provided for male drivers, just in case anyone thought the provision was a comment on the skill or otherwise of women drivers.

However, in other EU member states, the women-only parking slots are deliberately made wider in order to help with getting children out of the car, and several studies proved women are far more careful when parking than are their male counterparts. Some female expats in the Czech Republic believe it’s all a storm in a teacup, even although the practice is usual in a good number of Asian countries.

Those who object to its introduction in Prague feel it’s sexist at best, while male drivers are taking advantage by stating the practice of providing wider, specially-marked spaces only to mothers with children supports the implication than only females know how to care for their kids. It’s not the first time the republic’s decisions have stirred controversy on the male versus female issue, with its introduction of women-only train cars simply a move to make lone women travelling late at night feel safer. Another, perhaps more easily challenged, conflict was triggered when a Czech brewery had the temerity to introduce a beer created to appeal to the ‘female taste’. Oooops.
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