Germany unveils national strategy for fighting gender inequality

Germany unveils national strategy for fighting gender inequality

The German federal government has unveiled a new national strategy to promote gender equality. The nine-part plan, the first of its kind in Germany, seeks to tackle the gender pay gap and put more women in leadership positions. 

Germany’s first national plan for gender equality

For the first time ever, Germany’s federal cabinet has adopted a national strategy for tackling gender inequality that will be implemented on a federal level. The nine-part plan, coined “Strong for the Future”, was unveiled by Families Minister Franziska Giffey on Wednesday in Berlin

“This is the first strategy in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany that has been coordinated and agreed across all departments,” said Giffey. Hailing the step as a “milestone”, she added that it had taken “decades” to get the entire cabinet to commit itself to the plan.

Nine-step plan to improve career opportunities for women

Once approved, the plan will use targeted legislation to achieve nine gender equality goals. These include improving employment opportunities for women and reducing the pay gap and pension gap between men and women - taking into account the fact that women are more likely to work part-time hours due to family commitments. 

The plan will also increase the number of women in management positions, for instance by requiring that executive boards with four or more members include at least one woman. The law that requires women to make up 30 percent of supervisory boards will also be expanded, to apply to 600 companies in Germany, instead of the current 105.

The news came just as the leadership of the CDU party committed itself to filling half of key party positions with women by 2025. 

Germany scores badly on gender equality

Speaking to DW, Giffey said, “Here you always immediately get the question of whether lots of unqualified women will be hired… I can never accept that… We’re not talking about putting unqualified people in leadership positions. We’re talking about personal performance and ability... But we’re also talking about that fact that you can’t say we only have less than 10 percent of women who are suitable, effective, and competent. I can’t accept that.” 

Despite being led by a female chancellor, Germany currently scores below the European average on gender equality, according to a 2019 index by the European Institute for Gender Equality. On average, women earn 20 percent less than men and make up a mere 15 percent of executive board members. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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