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The first women in the German parliament

Updated: Mar 13, 2021

Earlier this month, the Süddeutsche Zeitung celebrated 100 years of female suffrage by examining the first female Parliamentarians in Germany.

March 1919 marked the first time German women could both elect and be elected; after the first election of the National Assembly, women members made up 9.7% of Bundestag representatives – a higher proportion than any subsequent parliament until as late as 1983!

SPD politician supports quota of female MPs

Another recently published feature in the Süddeutsche Zeitung is an interview with 32-year-old Bundestagsabgeordnete Josephine Ortleb of the SPD.

Ortleb criticises the low proportion of women in politics today and argues that women in leadership positions often struggle to pierce die gläserne Decke (the glass ceiling).

In order to combat this, Ortleb suggests that a legally enforced quota be introduced in the Bundestag to oversee parity. Such a move would remedy “der männlich dominierten Debattenkultur” in German Parliament. Click here to read the full interview!


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