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Ulrike Zerhau

50 Years Equality Law – a Day to Celebrate?

On July 1st, 1958, the first German law against discrimination was realized. Up until then married women were not allowed to own property or seek employment without permission from their husbands. To this occasion, the acting chair woman Ulrike Zerhau declares:

Even with the adoption of this law, women are still far from being considered true equals. The goal of equality is continues to be on the agenda today. In education, young women have reached the point where they receive better grades and have a higher graduation rate in comparison to men. However, these advantages are cease to continue in everyday life.

Women still have to fight against structural inequality in society, since the traditional perception of roles continues to display its effect. In the working life, women often take on odd- or part-time jobs. On average, women earn 22% less than men. Even in the same occupation they often paid less than their co-workers. And in the end women are more likely to be laid off in a crisis situation. The result: women receive less pension in their old age and have a higher poverty risk.

DIE LINKE is preparing for a change in the framework, amongst them recreating women’s resumes. It needs changes so that men and women can equally seek employment and actively take part in societal life but at the same time plan for a family and be able to live with children. The first steps would be: a region-wide offer of day-care centers paired with an unlimited, entire-day right to support and high-quality education for all children, a law for a region-wide minimum wage of at least 8 euros that especially protects women from wage dumping, and a turnaround in the development of a work schedule as preconditioned time to allow for personal space and a partnership lifestyle.

Politics is presented a challenge. 50 years equality law – a day to take action!