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Gender equality

Society, business, politics: The Federal Government is strengthening the role of women in all areas of public and private life.
Frau im Meeting
© Getty Images/Digital Vision

Parental leave, family allowance, and improved overall conditions for day-care for babies and pre-schoolers continue to create the preconditions for the equal treatment of women as laid down in the Basic Law. Whereas in the education sector young women have not only caught up with, but in part overtaken young men (in 2019 53.7 percent of those who attained a university entrance qualification were women and they made up 51.8 percent of new students in 2019), there are still differences between the sexes as regards pay and career paths: On average, women working full-time only earn around 80 percent of the salary of their male counterparts. They also continue to be under-represented in managerial roles. Today, about every eighth board member of DAX corporations is a woman.

In 2015 the Law on Equal Participation of Women and Men in Leadership Positions entered into force in the private and public sectors. Among other things, it stipulates that women must occupy 30 percent of seats on the supervisory councils of companies listed on the stock exchange. In autumn 2020, the coalition government agreed on a quota for corporate boards: For publicly-listed companies in which the payroll is large enough to mean staff codetermination is mandatory, if there are more than three members then one member must be a woman in future. Moreover, in its Coalition Agreement in 2018 the Federal Government set the target of equal gender participation in managerial functions in the civil service by 2025. Of late, the proportion of women in the Bundestag has fallen: It is currently at 31.2 percent. That said, until 1983 less than 10 percent of the parliamentarians were women.