Regular FeaturesOpinion
Pink Carpets for Pregnant WomenManners 101: yield seats to those in need
Choi Ye-seon  |  se
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승인 2015.10.08  16:48:13
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리
OCTOBER 10 is Pregnant Women’s Day. This day was made to overcome low birthrate and encourage a social atmosphere of caring for pregnant women. Moreover, it was made to cultivate a positive image of pregnancy and giving birth. Pink chairs for pregnant women have recently been installed in the subways. Stepping into the subway, it is now hard to avoid those eye-catching pink seats with even the floor painted in pink to resemble a carpet.
Seats designated for pregnant women were available in the past. Such seats were placed in every subway and bus but people did not know much about them or were not as considerate. However, now with the new improvements made, the seats are visually unavoidable; accentuating the reserved seats in pink was a huge success.  Now, people will inevitably be more aware of expectant mothers and practice yielding seats if they spot any who could use some help.
Seats for the handicapped are all equally available for the disabled, the elderly, and pregnant women. However, our society has an awareness that such seats are solely for the elderly. If any younger-looking person takes the seat, regardless of their condition, they are often times scolded for their lack of respect. Pregnant women, being no exception, have long been chided for, and have not been entirely welcomed to sit in seats that many think are reserved exclusively for the elderly. Though they can explain that they are pregnant if they wish to and justify their actions, they are afraid of further criticism and stress they might encounter, which could end up being very harmful for both the unborn baby and the mother.
In the early stages of pregnancy, it is hard to tell from the appearance whether a woman is pregnant. Due to morning sickness and higher risk of miscarriage, it is harder and more dangerous for mothers in the early stage of pregnancy to use public transportation. Moreover, as people in subways are usually busy either looking at their cell phones or sleeping, it is practically impossible for the pregnant women to ask the person on the seat to yield his or her seats for her. Considering these circumstances, it is a must that seats for the pregnant are left vacant.

   True, an ideal picture would be people being considerate enough to make seats for those who are having hard time using public transportation, without any forceful methods being implemented. However, considering the current stage of the public awareness, designated seats for the pregnant women are required to protect the mothers. Even with the eye-catching pink seats, many non-pregnant people are still occupying the seats without any awareness. Those people may be sitting on those seats impudently, knowing that they are for the pregnant women. However, there is still a possibility that some people do not know that the seats are for pregnant women. A notice should be posted and announced in and out of the subway so that people are made aware not to occupy the pink seats unless they are pregnant. The seats for the handicapped, which are better known as the seats for the elderly, are kept vacant nearly always and the seats for pregnant women should be like that, too. Mature civic awareness is critical to make our society a better place for everyone. 

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