Women-Only Parking Lot Spaces Divide Opinion Online: 'Flashing Green Light for Creeps'

A TikTok video showing female-designated parking spaces has sparked a debate about women's safety.

User @natashagallier shared a clip of the parking lot in Perth, Western Australia, on Wednesday. Her footage showed pink signs reading "Kindly reserve this bay for female drivers," as well as walls and columns painted pink to demarcate the spaces.

"Don't know if we should be happy or scared there's a female-only parking with security," she commented. Her video has been watched more than 450,000 times.

The spaces were introduced by local authorities in Perth in 2016. The multi-story parking lot in the city center has 28 "female friendly" bays located near the entrance and exits. The areas also have upgraded lighting, additional CCTV surveillance and assistance intercoms.

Men aren't fined if they park in the bays but are encouraged to follow the guidance.

Opinions were divided about the spaces when they were introduced. The president of the National Council of Women Australia, Barbara Baikie, told news.com.au in April 2016: "I understand why that may be necessary to keep women safe, but I would think this is just a Band-Aid solution.

"A much better solution would be to educate young men to respect women and not attack them."

Five years on, concerns about women's safety continue to be felt worldwide. On Wednesday—the same day that Natasha Gallier posted her video—women in university cities across the U.K. boycotted nightclubs and pubs over an increase in drink-spiking incidents.

The Perth clip prompted many TikTok commenters to debate female-friendly bays and other measures that aim to improve women's safety.

"I feel like this tells the creeps exactly where to lurk," wrote one viewer.

"I'd feel safer in the normal one so they don't know where I am," posted another.

One user commented: "I like the safe space idea but at the same time isn't it a flashing green light for creeps."

Other viewers were more open to the idea, with one writing: "Now, gas stations and grocery stores and gyms and schools and airports pls."

Another TikToker pointed out that female-only bays were common in some countries and seemingly more accepted. "I used to live in Thailand and they had them but to get into that area you have to pass security which are at the entrance. There's no getting into the ones in Thailand without being seen by security," the user posted.

Other countries that have women's spaces in some parking lots include Russia and Germany.

Newsweek has contacted Gallier for comment.

Female parking lot spaces
Stock images of "female-friendly" parking lot spaces. Getty Images