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Power in equal parts - democracy needs parity

In politics, women still have a certain rarity: While the proportion of women in the German Bundestag amounts approximately 37 percent, it is on average 25 percent at the municipal level. In smaller municipalities, there are still "women-free" councils. The imbalance of representation of women in municipal leadership positions is particularly serious.

Does it have to be like this? Is it unchangeable? How do we achieve the equal participation of women and men in politics? How can the underrepresentation of women in parliaments be abolished; especially at the municipal level? With the project "Power in equal parts - democracy needs parity", the EAF Berlin provides information about the current parity debate in Germany, about initiatives, arguments and legal situations.

There are current debates on corresponding legal requirements for Germany. Since the beginning of the 1990’s women's shares in the parliaments stagnate: despite of self-obligations of some parties, and despite of the equality paragraph in Article 3 of the German Constitution. There is no shortage of recommendations for action and concepts (eg Kletzing / Lukoschat 2010, Lukoschat / Belschner 2014), but rather the refusal to implement it. For Germany, a new approach is proposed: The goal is to achieve a nation-wide parity law or country-specific parity laws. The EAF Berlin accompanies this movement with the following focus:

  • Raising awareness: Vivid public debates should increase the public attention for the issue of parity. Additionally balanced and structured information needs to be provided.

  • Networking: Since 2007, regional actors have launched various parity initiatives at regional level. These initiatives are supported to enable exchange and nationwide networking. Thus, new parity initiatives will be launched.

  • Activating: Parliamentarians and parties are central actors to enforce parity in politics: The project aims to win parliamentarians and parties for the concern of parity. Furthermore, they should be involved in respective steps to reach effective legal quotas.

To promote the public debate on women and parity in politics, the EAF Berlin, together with the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, has invited to a nationwide federal forum "Power in equal parts - democracy needs parity". Regional parity forums at the federal level in Bavaria, Brandenburg and Saarland preceded the federal forum.

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  • Sensibilisieren: Die öffentliche Aufmerksamkeit für das Thema Parität gilt es in regen politischen Debatten zu erhöhen und mit ausgewogenen und übersichtlichen Informationen anzuregen.
  • Vernetzen: Seit 2007 haben auf Länderebene regionale Akteur*innen unterschiedliche Paritäts-Initiativen gestartet. Diese sollen Rückenwind bekommen, so dass sich Initiator*innen bundesweit austauschen und vernetzen sowie neue Paritäts-Initiativen angestoßen werden.
  • Aktivieren: Parlamentarier*innen und Parteien sind die zentralen Akteur*innen, um Parität in der Politik durchzusetzen: Das Projekt zielt darauf ab, Parlamentarier*innen und Parteien für das Anliegen Parität zu gewinnen und in die einzelnen Projektschritte einzubeziehen, um gemeinsam wirksame rechtliche Quotenregelungen voranzutreiben.

Um insbesondere die öffentliche Debatte über Frauen und Parität in der Politik anzustoßen, hat die EAF Berlin gemeinsamen mit dem Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend u. a. zum Bundesforum „Macht zu gleichen Teilen - Demokratie braucht Parität“ eingeladen. Dem Bundesforum sind regionale Paritätsforen auf Länderebene in Bayern, Brandenburg und im Saarland vorausgegangen.

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