Merkel wants more women in politics and tech
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her role as the most powerful woman in the country should not let it avoid looking at the small proportion of women in politics.
Marking the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, Merkel pointed to gender inequality, notably in politics, business, science and culture.
“The goal needs to be equality, equality everywhere,” the veteran leader said.
Despite her role, “a swallow does not a summer make”, she told a female-dominated event in Berlin. “The fact that I exist should not be an excuse.”
Germany’s first female chancellor said 30.9 per cent Bundestag members were female, down from 36.5 per cent before the September 2017 election.
“That’s the proportion of women that Sudan has in its parliament,” Merkel said. “I think that the proportion of women in our parliaments is a basic issue of our democracy.”
While 90 per cent of the biggest listed employers in the US have two women on their boards, in Germany the figure is only 17 per cent.
“I hope it will become a matter of course for men and women to share work, child-raising and housework equally and no one will be forced into a role or a specific task because of his or her gender,” she said. “And I hope we won’t have to wait 100 years to achieve that.”
The trained physicist praised better childcare and maternity leave and said girls should be encouraged to find jobs in technology.
“Nobody laughs any more if a girl says she wants to become a chancellor.”
Germany has backed European Union proposals for a digital tax on internet giants, such as Facebook and Google, putting pressure on Ireland’s opposition to the levy.
Finance minister Olaf Scholz wants a binding deal on the tax agreed at a meeting of EU finance ministers in December, backing the French position.
The tax, which was proposed by the European Commission in 2017, would impose a 3-per-cent levy on revenues generated in individual member states by tech multinationals.
France is the main advocate for the tax but has grown increasingly frustrated after Berlin hesitated in June.
“If the negotiations continue the way that they have been going, we’ll still be in talks in 100 years. That is why I support the French model and want to offer the proceeds to the EU,” Scholz told Der Spiegel.
France said only Denmark, Sweden and Ireland remain opposed but Germany had been wavering over the plan that would affect giant internet firms, which Brussels say pay less tax than other companies.
Fathers should not miss out on valuable childcare opportunities. Picture credit: Pixabay