Parking spots for women in Seoul. (JEON HEON-KYUN/EPA)

The Independent reports that Seoul has become more “women-friendly” by introducing parking spaces specifically designed for women. They’ve been variously called “male-free” and “she-spots.”

The parking spaces are longer, wider and boast a pink outline and a logo of a woman in a skirt, reported the IndependentAccording to the Huffington Post, the parking spaces will be better lit and closer to elevators and escalators.

According to UPI, “Women Friendly Seoul” is a part of a larger $700 million (other reports say $100 million) initiative for the city that will also bring more toilets for women and reduce cracks on roads. The Web site reports:

The scheme will also see pavements resurfaced with a “slightly spongy material” that makes them easier to walk on in high heels.

Even with the recent media coverage, the “Women Friendly Seoul”  initiative seems to be nothing new, but an ongoing project. A 2009 Korea Times article says that the project was first launched in 2007 and had a budget of $408 million to use until 2010. The project was injected with additional funding and had a four-year budget of almost $700 million. Cho Eun-hee, Seoul’s Assistant Mayor of Women and Family Affairs, told the Times:

As more women engage themselves in social life, their desire to improve the quality of life and demand for public support is increasing … It is like adding a female touch to a universal design and make things more comfortable for women.

The female parking zones in many places of the South Korean capital were reportedly created as part of a broader movement to boost safety. (JEON HEON-KYUN/EPA)