Germany unveils a plan to strengthen gender equality

L’Allemagne dévoile un plan pour renforcer l’égalité des sexes

Germany on Wednesday approved a plan meant to promote gender equality in the world of work, a first for this country where the social advances for women have been stagnating for several years.

The national strategy sets targets for all government ministries, in particular by the reduction of the pay gap between the sexes and a better representation of women in business and politics, said the minister of the Family, Franziska Giffey.

“This is the first strategy of equality (of the sexes) in the history of the federal Republic of Germany, which has been coordinated and approved by all the government departments,” she said, calling the plan “a milestone”.

The plan places emphasis on the balance between work and private life, relying on the fact that women are more likely to work part-time or not at all due to family commitments.

He advocated the increase in the number of women in leadership positions, including in the public service, and a better representation in politics.

This week, the conservative party CDU of chancellor Angela Merkel has already shown its interest in the issue: the head of the party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has announced that new binding quotas for women to occupy at least 50% of leadership positions, policies at the local level would be put in place by 2025.

The government is also working on a strategy to increase the number of women on the boards of directors, so that a quota of 30% will now apply to 600 companies, instead of 105 currently, said Mr. Giffey.

Although it is headed by a woman for almost 15 years, Germany is below the european average in terms of gender equality in the world of work, according to an index of 2019 of the european Institute for equality between men and women.

Women earn on average 20% less than men and occupy only about 15% of positions on boards of directors.

In politics, the representation of women in the Bundestag, the lower house of Parliament, is currently at its lowest level since 20 years, and more than 90% of mayors are men, detailed Ms. Giffey.

Historically, in Western Germany has always been behind on the issue of gender equality in relation to the communist East.

In the west, women still had to obtain the permission of their husbands to work until 1977. Shortly before reunification, a little more than half of women in West Germany were employed, compared with 91% of women in the East.

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