Coming Up - March 8: International Women's Day becomes Holiday in Berlin
Frauen demonstrieren am 08.03.2014 in Berlin und halten dabei ein Transparent. Mehrere hundert Teilnehmer sind dem Aufruf unter dem Motto “Still loving feminism” gefolgt, um am “Internationalen Frauenkampftag” mit einer Demonstration von Gesundbrunnen zum Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz für die Rechte der Frauen zu protestieren. Foto: Florian Schuh/dpa | Verwendung weltweit, © dpa
Berlin is the first German Bundesland to recognize March 8th, the International Women’s Day, as a public holiday. Agreed upon in January 2019, it will be a day off work and school starting this March.
Since 1958, women and men are considered officially equal by German law. Nonetheless, lots remain to be done. The Foreign Office is one of many institutions in Germany promoting workplace equality and several measures have been taken to strengthen the female workforce: Since 2016, a mentoring program for young women in the Foreign Service helps female diplomats to seek guidance and experience of their older female peers as well as supporting women to seek leading diplomatic positions such as consuls or ambassadors. During internal correspondence, emphasis is being put on gender-inclusive language, and we are using the descriptors “female, male and diverse” in job postings. In a very recent step further, the Foreign Office declared a 30% female participation benchmark at all events hosted by the Foreign Office.
There are also interesting academic offers popping up in the German university landscape related to gender equality: the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University Berlin) is starting a new graduate program in the fall of 2019 on “Gender, Intersectionalism and Politics”, which addresses pressing issues in regards to gender equality. Yet another project in Germany worth mentioning is the “Female Future Day”, a conference especially geared towards women, initiated by the Berlin-based online magazine Edition F. This year on March 8th, various organizations in Berlin and across Germany have called on women to put down their work, be it in business or at home, and strike in order to raise more awareness for women’s rights issues.
If you want to know more about women in diplomacy, check back on our Facebook site on March 8 for an interactive world map about women in the German Foreign Service around the world and check out this video below.