Women’s quota: Kramp-Karrenbauer celebrates “breakthrough” policy

The outgoing CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer welcomed the agreement reached after tough negotiations in the coalition for stricter guidelines for female bosses in the economy. “The fact that the quota for women is finally coming to board members in larger companies is a breakthrough and an important step on the way to equality and equal opportunities in Germany,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer Süddeutsche Zeitung. The compromise was “only a first step, but one with an important signal effect,” she said. “I am convinced that companies will benefit from a more diverse management team.”

The coalition working group on the draft law for more women in top positions (FüPoG2) finally agreed on an eight-point plan on Friday evening. According to this, board members in listed companies with equal co-determination and with more than three members must appoint at least one woman. Existing board members will, however, receive grandfathering. Management boards, supervisory boards and the two management levels below may no longer be assigned a gender without justification – otherwise there is a risk of fines. Federal companies must have at least 30 percent of the opposite sex on the supervisory board. Directors with more than two members must appoint a woman. A minimum participation of one man and one woman will be introduced on boards and management boards of health insurance companies, the Federal Employment Agency as well as pension and accident insurances.

Esken praises Giffeys and Lambrecht’s “tenacity”

Kramp-Karrenbauer’s reference to the mixed management teams can also be understood as a criticism of their potential successors. Three party friends are running for office, none of them has yet a wife by their side. Friedrich Merz, a self-declared economic expert, has so far rejected a quota in the economy, and is also skeptical within the party. Armin Laschet and Norbert Röttgen, on the other hand, are open to the considerations.

The SPD had fought for binding regulations for years. Co-party leader Saskia Esken praised the fact that the goal of fair participation of women in leadership positions had “finally come a lot closer”. The “tenacity” of the ministers Franziska Giffey and Christine Lambrecht – they had submitted the draft law – and of Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, it is mainly thanks to “that supervisory boards as a whole and board members with more than two members without women finally a” no go ” will be”. Esken expects “that the law can now be introduced into parliament, discussed and passed without further delay.”

Sociology professor Jutta Allmendinger warned to be satisfied with what has been achieved. “We have to address further regulations that cause structural discrimination against women,” said the president of the Berlin Science Center of the SZ. “It’s also about more diversity in governing bodies, regardless of the sectors. The gender issue is only one important dimension,” she said. “Work will continue next week.”


Coalition agrees on a quota for women on executive boards – economy

The black and red federal government has basically agreed on a binding quota for women on executive boards. Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) announced on Friday after the working group set up by the coalition committee had reached an agreement on this issue on boards of listed and jointly determined companies with more than three members.

The compromise is to be presented to the coalition leaders for a final decision next week. Subsequently, the departmental coordination and the participation of the federal states and associations will be initiated so that the cabinet decision can be made promptly, Lambrecht said.

The quota is an essential point in the so-called Management Positions Act – for the first time there would be binding requirements for more women on executive boards. The working group of Union and SPD has also agreed that in future there should be a supervisory board quota of at least 30 percent and a minimum participation in executive boards for companies with a majority stake by the federal government. A minimum participation of women should also be introduced in public corporations such as health insurance companies and pension and accident insurance institutions, as well as in the Federal Employment Agency.

The CDU, CSU and SPD agreed in the coalition agreement to improve the law on women in management positions. At the beginning of the year, Federal Women’s Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) and Lambrecht presented a corresponding bill. After differences, the heads of the coalition decided to set up a working group in the summer.

The working group set up by the coalition committee agreed on key points of the Second Management Positions Act in the evening. For the first time, these provide binding guidelines for more women on executive boards. In the future, one member of the executive boards of listed companies with equal co-determination with more than three members must be a woman. A supervisory board quota of at least 30 percent and a minimum participation in executive boards were agreed for companies with a majority shareholding by the federal government. A minimum participation is also to be introduced for corporations under public law such as health insurance companies, pension and accident insurance institutions and the Federal Employment Agency.

This result will be presented to the coalition leaders for a final decision next week. Immediately thereafter, the departmental coordination and the participation of the federal states and associations should be initiated so that the cabinet decision can be made promptly.

“It’s good that women ministers have remained so tough”

The chairwoman of the Women’s Union, Minister of State Annette Widmann-Mauz, reacted with satisfaction to the decision: It would “clear the way for the advancement of women,” said Widmann-Mauz. “Mixed teams are a recipe for success – not just in times of crisis.”

SPD parliamentary group vice-president Katja Mast said it was “good that our social democratic ministers Franziska Giffey and Christine Lambrecht stayed so tough” – and that “the pressure from society has moved the mountain”. It is a historic step.

From the CSU it was said that the party would only approve the agreement if there were further improvements for all women. It is an “important signal”, said the Deputy Head of the Bavarian Women’s Union, Silke Launert. “However, we have to improve the framework conditions for all women and motivate them.” “Increasing the tax-free allowance for single parents is an important condition”.

Companies with the goal: “0” women on the board

The quota for supervisory boards has been in force since 2016 for large listed companies that are subject to co-determination. You must fill at least 30 percent of the positions with women. At that time, the federal government relied on voluntary action on the executive boards. You should set yourself voluntary targets. Several scientific studies and reports by the federal government show that the majority of companies are aiming for “0” women on their boards. In addition, the proportion of female managers there has hardly increased.

In the statement of the federal government on a new evaluation report it is said that it comes to the conclusion that a binding regulation would increase the effectiveness of the law for more female managers. At the same time, however, the report also points out that the appointment regulations for the board of directors are a more severe interference with entrepreneurial freedom.


Odds man Söder – politics – SZ.de

And again the Chancellor has the Bavarian Prime Minister by her side – but this time it’s not about Corona, but about women. In the summer, the reluctant Angela Merkel burst her collar in the Bundestag when it came to bosses. It is “absolutely inadequate” that some listed companies still do not have a woman on the board.

That was a clear political announcement by the Chancellor, but her momentum was not enough to pass a prepared law for more women in leadership positions in the coalition. The Union was against it.

But now another collar has burst within the Union, namely that of CSU boss Markus Söder. And because Söder still has some plans in his political life, one can assume that he will have chosen his words with caution.

“I am for the women’s quota,” says Markus Söder

On Tuesday evening, Söder demanded that there had to be a political jolt – in order to enforce a quota for women on boards of Dax companies. With him on the front line: “I am for the women’s quota,” said Söder at a digital event for the weekly newspaper The time. And further: “By the way, I am also in favor of the fact that we have to give a push to the laws that are now being made in Berlin with board members, and that we have to implement them sensibly”

The reference that you could “not dictate whether there is a woman on a Dax board” does not convince him, said Söder. There are highly qualified men and women who could easily do these jobs. The coalition must “send out a signal because it also serves as a role model for the many young women in our country”.

The Union and the SPD had agreed to tighten the rules to get women into management positions in private and public companies. In addition, the top posts in public companies are to be filled equally by 2025.

There is already a bill. But he’s stuck in the coalition

The draft law with the beautiful abbreviation FüPoGII submitted by ministers Franziska Giffey (family and women) and Christine Lambrecht (justice) has so far been stuck in the coalition – although the SPD ministers had pushed forward in the Söderian sense. For the first time they proposed a quota for board members and a stricter quota for supervisory boards. This frightened the board members of Deutsche Bahn so much that they warned that women on the board would cause serious disadvantages for Deutsche Bahn.

A compromise is now emerging. “The law will be discussed in the coalition,” said government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer on Wednesday in Berlin. According to information from the working group set up specifically by the Süddeutsche Zeitung “Substantial progress, also in the private sector, be it in supervisory boards or executive boards”. Nobody believes any more that a quota for board members can be prevented – if things “move visibly” in the federal companies. Specifically, this would mean that one or the other savings bank director or head of health insurance has to vacate his post before the quota takes effect in private companies.

The advance from the south does not please everyone in the Union

Söder may have known about the compromises and found it opportune to stand next to the Chancellor quickly. Not everyone in the Union was pleased, especially not the supporters of Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen. Merz and Röttgen are applying for the office of CDU chief, but have not yet managed to put a woman at their side. Merz rejects quotas in principle. In comparison, Söder is doing well: In Munich, he has the CSU share of his cabinet equally.

Olaf Scholz, Vice Chancellor and, as the SPD’s candidate for chancellor, a political competitor to the CSU boss, Söder now wants to take his word for it. “The time for excuses is over,” Scholz told the SZ: “I urge the CDU / CSU not to block this law in the cabinet any longer.”

According to an evaluation by the organization “Women on Supervisory Boards”, only just under every third supervisory board position in the 188 largest listed German companies was occupied by a woman. Men even dominated the executive boards with almost 90 percent.


Women in Business: To Power – Business

Essay by

Henrike Rossbach

In mid-September, Federal Minister of Women Franziska Giffey was a guest at the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, i.e. at the economyas the saying goes. She had been talking for a while, it was about the compatibility of work and family, when the SPD politician came up on another topic. One that made her noticeably pissed off. “During the Corona crisis, we heard: So you know, Ms. Giffey, your project, women in leadership – that just doesn’t work in the crisis. Now women in leadership positions too – that would be an unreasonable burden!” She paused. “I had to listen to it, yes! So.”


Diversity: How Wrong Arguments Jeopardize the Right Goal – Economy

It is often said that diversity is good for business. There is no evidence for this. Why it is dangerous to struggle with questionable arguments for the right goal.

Essay by

Felicitas Wilke

Last Monday, the Federal Minister for Women, Franziska Giffey, stood in front of a green wall with the words “Diversity” emblazoned on it. The management consultancy BCG has invited to a round table, the question is how it can succeed that companies in Germany finally consider more women for management positions. In her keynote speech, which is broadcast live stream in accordance with the pandemic, the politician says what she does not tire of emphasizing in one way or another: It is “no charity or nice-to-have” to bring more women to the executive boards ” we actually have a situation where mixed teams are more successful “.


Parity law: this is not how equality works – politics

A quick look at the map of Germany is enough to understand that something has to happen. In Bavaria, the proportion of women in the state parliament is almost 27 percent, in Saxony-Anhalt and Baden-Württemberg it is still far lower. Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the model countries on this overview – which means in numbers: 67 percent of the MPs are men. So it is right for the parties to try to change that. But the law of parity is the wrong way to go.

This Friday, the Thuringian rule was also rejected by the Constitutional Court in Brandenburg. The reasoning was similar in both cases: the freedom of a democratic choice counts more than the demand for equal treatment of women vis-à-vis men. It may be difficult to understand socio-politically, but politically it is correct. To run against it now with further parity laws only plays into the hands of right-wing populists. They carry away any success before the constitutional court like a trophy.

A look at France shows how it could work. There, the parity when drawing up the electoral lists is linked to the party funding. Only those who fill the electoral lists equally with women and men receive full state support. This is a strong incentive and still leaves each party free to make their own decisions. Since then, the proportion of women in the French National Assembly has risen to 40 percent. In the Bundestag they make up less than a third of the MPs.


Bundeswehr: “The troops must be attractive to women” – politics

Eva Högl wants to make the armed forces more attractive for women as military commissioner. In the interview, she talks about necessary changes in the troops, right-wing extremist incidents in the KSK and the sense of deployments abroad.

Interview by

Mike Szymanski


Interview: Why Poland refuses to protect women – politics

SZ: Protecting women from violence should be considered a goal that no one questions. Now there are efforts in Turkey, but also with Poland, an EU member, to move away from the Istanbul Convention of all places.

Evelyn Regner: I almost fell out of my shoes when I heard about Poland. After an election, a government should normally take steps to unite the population, instead it does this provocation.

Poland is not the only EU country where there is opposition to the Istanbul Convention, it also exists in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and Hungary’s parliament voted against ratification. What is behind it?

It’s about ideology. Because actually there is no democratic state in the world that could oppose protecting women from violence. For ideological reasons, however, something is interpreted in the Istanbul Convention that is not in there – gender issues.

Interview in the morning

This series of interviews is dedicated to current topics and will appear on SZ.de from 7.30 a.m. on Monday to Friday. All interviews here.

So also questions of equality, for example of homosexual or transsexual people, those groups that are summarized as LGTB. Everything that disturbs right-wing nationalist politicians and conservative church circles.

Of course, I am also in favor of the full equality and protection of these groups. But the fact is simple, that’s not what the Istanbul Convention is about. This was also confirmed by an expert opinion drawn up when Armenia acceded to the convention. It clearly stated that it is only about protecting women from violence and expressly also from domestic violence. It is about help for victims, prevention, money for women’s shelters and the like and of course the corresponding criminal law. Everything to signal the women, there are places to turn to.

Why is there resistance in some countries?

Domestic violence against women is the largest systematic human rights violation worldwide. For women, their own four walls are still the most dangerous place. It got worse in the Corona crisis. And that it comes to light, is increasingly thematized, provokes some. It triggers social discomfort and questions patriarchal social images in particular. When a man is no longer allowed to hit women, he is deprived of power over their bodies, and the convention can also be a first step for the economic independence of women in certain countries. The existing structure of power begins to falter – in which, incidentally, many women have established themselves.

There are certain countries in which the convention is rejected.

It is no wonder that she especially dislikes governments that slide into authoritarianism. And it is a shame that they do not want to protect Polish women and Hungarian women in Poland and Hungary.

Church officials are also spokesmen for the convention in some countries.

I find it unbearable if churches actively oppose the convention. Then charity obviously does not apply in your own four walls. I would like the churches to take a much clearer stand against violence against women and for the goals of the convention.

Would the European Parliament have leverage to persuade member countries to ratify the convention?

We will insist on the rule of law review in Parliament in relation to the multiannual EU financial framework and the means to deal with the Corona crisis. And we will make sure that 50 percent of the funds are used for women.

The Istanbul Convention is an agreement of the Council of Europe, which also includes non-EU countries, since there are different voting procedures and majority relationships.

You can’t overrule countries. But the main goal of the convention is to implement the content, not the symbolism, to belong to it. And there is always a plan B. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has already indicated that there could be a separate EU strategy for the protection of violence if this should not be possible within the Council of Europe.

How does that work?

Then the content of the Istanbul Convention could be extracted, and the Commission could submit corresponding EU guidelines for the member countries. I also praise the German Council Presidency, the German family minister Franziska Giffey has already told us that protection against violence is at the forefront for them.


Review: “Women in Music Pt. III” by Haim – Kultur

The gorgeous new album by California’s neo soft rock trio “Haim” is funky and vulnerable.

Nobody walks in Los Angeles. The three sisters of Haim Naturally. They grew up in the city, where driving – and just standing in a traffic jam – is part of the lifestyle. Nevertheless, in the video for their song “Summer Girl” they walk through the streets and peel endless layers of jackets, sweaters and shirts off their bodies – a winking reference to the song title. Past historic city cinemas, past the little deli in West Hollywood, in the back room of which they played their first little gig as teenagers. LA actually looks like a pedestrian city in the golden light of these pictures (filmed by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson) and under the brisk steps of the sisters. It is a beautiful, subtle illusion that speaks of a lack of direction at the same time: of the Angelenos and their congested streets, but also of a young generation in the endless grid of a big city, and of course letting go of the summer.

“Summer Girl” was released last August as the first single of the new, third Haim album, which now follows with a delay: “Women In Music Pt. III” (Universal) is her best record so far. 16 carefully arranged songs, in the light-flooded space between soft rock and R&B. This is still the kind of pop music that Este, Danielle and Alana Haim got to know. After a childhood and youth as a family cover band, her debut “Days Are Gone” was released in 2013 – built on the foundations of the Californian soft rock tradition of the seventies and eighties, on bands like Fleetwood Mac or that Eagles, what was called AOR at the time, adult or album-oriented rock. Composed, catchy rock music for an adult audience.

“Sad Banger”, these songs to which you can cry bitterly or dance excessively

On their third record, the finely tuned vocal harmonies, the crisp guitar riffs and snare drums sound more airy than ever before.

In addition, they have added elements to their songs that are not actually associated with Haim: pitched computer voices, foggy electronics, hip-hop beats and even jazzed-up saxophone melodies, such as those that run through “Summer Girl”.

Danielle Haim wrote the song for her partner, producer Ariel Rechtshaid, to whom she wanted to give comfort after his cancer diagnosis. The chorus is reminiscent of the “Doot-doot-doos” from Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side”. In the base of the song, a double bass purrs a warm, vibrating chord that sounds like what a hot, sluggish August day feels like. “Summer Girl” is a wonderfully sensual song – funky and vulnerable, and as light as a breeze in the California evening light.

This is how the rest of the record sounds: casual and direct, but still as sunny as the songs on the previous records, but less polished, raw and flowing between the genres. There are still classic Haim songs like the drum-driven “Don’t Wanna” or the guitar ballad “Hallelujah”, which is built around the typical three-part vocal harmonies. “Now I’m In it” with its throbbing bassline sounds very different, a “Sad Banger”, a song like one knows from pop stars like Robyn, Taylor Swift or Lorde, to which bitter crying or excessive dancing can be heard. Or both at the same time. “I Know Alone” combines hazy electro pop with big lines about being alone. A Joni-Mitchell reference is just as common here as the cell phone masts, which one counts out of sheer boredom on the street: “I know alone and I don’t want to talk about it”, sings Danielle Haim, she knows being alone, but she don’t want to talk about it.

The sex that you meet on the phone in the middle of the night

In general, “Women In Music Pt. III” is about depression, these psychic valley phases, into which you slip from time to time as you grow up, but which change their emotional texture again when you, like the Haim- Sisters who left twenties almost or already in their early thirties (Este is 34, Danielle 31, Alana 28). Because on the one hand, the new songs tell of how much more complicated life gets when you’ve been around for a while. You’ve already had a few health problems, deaths, relationship crises and depressed moods; and on the other hand the self-confidence that goes with it, the new relaxation with body, sexuality and chaotic feelings. All of this speaks more clearly from “Women In Music Pt. III” than from the previous Haim albums. “Los Angeles” is about disillusionment with the hometown, accompanied by saxophone and a reduced ska beat. In “3 AM”, which is reminiscent of the mid-tempo R&B of the nineties, about the sex that you meet on the phone for in the middle of the night, but for which you don’t necessarily have to meet because it’s enough to know that you could. And “The Steps” is about hopelessly passing-by communication: “Do you understand you don’t understand me?” – Do you understand that you don’t understand me?

And what the album title suggests ironically: It’s about gender justice, which they know well as women in the music business (more precisely: as women who play their instruments themselves). “Man From The Magazine” tells of sexist micro-aggressions (overarching interview questions) and the guy in the guitar business who naturally recommends the beginner model to his customer. Haim are mainly experienced live and studio musicians and not just pop stars. “Women In Music Pt. III”, the perfect record for this summer, is the best proof of this.


Karlsruhe dismisses complaint against female form of address – Panorama

The constitutional complaint is about the use of the generic masculine – specifically about addressing in Sparkasse forms. The 82-year-old applicant does not want to give up.

For the time being, savings banks and other institutions may continue to use grammatically feminine names such as “customer” or “account holder” in their forms and forms. The Federal Constitutional Court dismissed the lawsuit of a woman from Saarland against the practice because of deficiencies in the reasons. This was announced by the court in Karlsruhe on Wednesday.

The content of the legal question was therefore not decided (Az. 1 BvR 1074/18). The plaintiff Marlies Krämer is concerned with the principle. She sued her Sparkasse and in 2018 she moved to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) at the age of 80 because she also wants to be perceived as a woman in forms. So far, the lawsuit has failed in all instances.

The BGH ruled that the so-called generic masculine was common in language use and did not express any disdain for people of the opposite sex. The form is also used in many laws and even in the Basic Law. Kramer then filed a constitutional complaint. However, due to the insufficient reasoning, this was not accepted for decision.

For plaintiff Marlies Kärmer, the struggle for gender-equitable language on forms is not over. She now wants to go to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). “I’m not giving up, I’ll keep going until the race is over,” said the 82-year-old women’s rights activist.

A new attempt could possibly be worthwhile: “If there were to be a decision on the constitutional complaint, this would lead to unresolved questions regarding the relevance of fundamental rights to the traditional use of the generic masculine as well as questions regarding the constitutional requirements for the interpretation of equality laws, which would require the use of gender-sensitive language prescribe, “said the court.

According to Susanne Christ, lawyer from Krämer, the way through all the instances would be necessary first. However, the way to the ECHR is clear after Krämer has now fully exhausted the legal process in Germany. “We’re filing a lawsuit on time, that’s a done deal,” said Christ. “My client is a fighter.” However, according to them, it will take two or three years for the Strasbourg judges to decide.