Merkel marks 100 years' women's suffrage with call for more women MPs

Berlin - Chancellor Angela Merkel called for parity in politics between men and women as she marked 100 years since German women gained the right to vote at a ceremony in Berlin on Monday.

"We will have to seek new ways in this regard," Merkel said, noting that the current German parliament did not set a good example with a female proportion of 30.9 per cent.
In politics, just as in business, administration, the sciences and culture, "the aim must be parity," she said.
But she also pointed to the difficulties under the current voting system. "We are thinking deeply about this," Merkel said.
Speaking before Merkel, Justice Minister Katarina Barley and Minister for Women Franziska Giffey called for women to be better represented in the Bundestag.
"I believe, that when half of the population consists of women, why does the highest representative body in our country not also consist half of women," Giffey said.
Speaking to the Sunday edition of the mass-circulation Bild newspaper ahead of the event, Barley noted the "sea of grey suits" in the Bundesbank.
"This will only change with a new electoral law," she said, suggesting that party lists should alternate between men and women or constituencies should have two members, one a man and the other a woman.
The opposition Greens backed a fixed quota. "One hundred years after the introduction of the right of women to vote, a step like this is overdue. The proportion of women in parliament will not rise of its own accord," party leader Annalena Baerbock said.
Of the 67 Greens in parliament, 39 are women, and the party has joint men and women in its leadership positions.


Monday, November 12th 2018

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