March 8th is International Women’s Day – a traditionally important day for the fight for equality. In Berlin, March 8th is even a public holiday. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), SPD top candidate Olaf Scholz as well as the opposition and associations have already called for more rights, money and recognition for women and mothers.
“We’re not there yet,” said Merkel in her weekly video podcast on Saturday. This shows “a look at the management levels in business, but also in politics.” Parity is necessary in all areas of society. “This also includes: women must finally be able to earn as much as men,” said the Chancellor.
In her address, Merkel also warned against falling back into old role models in times of the pandemic. So it is “again increasingly women who master the balancing act between homeschooling, childcare and their own job,” said Merkel. It is also predominantly women who are currently particularly challenged in social and care professions.
“Over 75 percent of employees in the health sector – from medical practices and hospitals to medical laboratories and pharmacies – are women,” said Merkel. “On the other hand, there are only about 30 percent women in management positions here.”
Scholz: A minimum wage of twelve euros should make a lot of women better off
For SPD top candidate Olaf Scholz it is “a question of respect” to make equality a common concern of women and men. At a digital event organized by the Social Democrats on Saturday on the occasion of Women’s Day, Scholz spoke out in favor of wages in care, but also in food retailing, should rise. This would guarantee better wages for many women. Higher minimum wages are also necessary – “twelve euros is the standard that I think is correct.”
In a resolution on Women’s Day, the SPD party executive also called for “freedom from discrimination in the world of data”. Where the use of algorithms, for example in human resources, has a say in the future of people, these algorithms should “never discriminate,” it says. Like artificial intelligences (AI), they must be “programmed without prejudice”. This should be checked and certified regularly.
The inequality of treatment is also evident in the health sector. In medical research, research is often only carried out with data from male test subjects, according to the Social Democrats’ paper. That has to be changed.
Demands on Women’s Day: stronger quotas and abolition of spouse splitting
In the event of government participation after the federal election, the Greens want to enforce a stronger quota of women for listed companies. According to party leader Annalena Baerbock, the women’s quota should become an important point in possible coalition negotiations. According to the editorial network in Germany, Baerbock called for at least 33 percent women to be represented on executive boards and 40 percent for supervisory boards. According to the head of the Greens, the rules in company law are completely outdated.
There is also some catching up to do in the Foreign Service. Women are still underrepresented there, especially in higher positions: only 20 percent of the missions abroad are headed by women, the Foreign Ministry told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. After all, the proportion of women in the foreign service is around 50 percent. “In terms of recruitment, we have almost achieved gender parity over the past ten years,” said the Federal Foreign Office.
For some time now, women’s associations have also been calling for the abolition of spouse splitting. The chairwoman of the Association for Women in Supervisory Boards (Fidar), Monika Schulz-Strelow, told the Funke Mediengruppe newspapers: »The splitting of spouses tempts women to give up their jobs because the net wage is too low due to the poor tax bracket. This can take revenge at the latest in the case of short-time work, after a divorce or in old age with a mini pension. “