We Greens believe that gender equality is a core social justice issue. We want women and men to relate to each other as equals, with equal rights and opportunities. This requires a radical transformation of society, culminating in a New Green Social Deal. There is still a long way to go to achieve a society based on gender justice, and there is a great deal of work to be done, so every one of us must make a contribution. However, the shift away from the supposed certainties of traditional gender roles also creates new opportunities and choices and offers more freedom and self-determination for everyone.
To give women greater independence, our aim is to substantially increase the percentage of women in paid employment. In order to provide women with the same level of social security as men, we must restructure our social insurance and tax systems. We want to abolish dependency on partners in the calculation of benefit entitlements for the long-term unemployed. In many areas of the labour market, traditional gender roles are proving tough and resilient, and if policy-makers continue to take no action here, nothing will change. What is needed is a Gender Equality Act for the private sector. The public sector can set an example by awarding public contracts primarily to companies which operate effective corporate programmes to promote equality. On average, women in Germany earn 22 per cent less than men. So we want associations to have a genuine right to take legal action in relation to anti-discrimination law , as well as rules on minimum wages and a gender-sensitive review of the criteria governing assignment to pay groups under collective agreements. A 50 per cent gender quota for the allocation of seats on supervisory boards will achieve more gender justice and more effective control, and offers scope for fresh impetus and ideas.
Protecting women from violence
Violence against women and girls is still a major problem in society. The state should be obliged to provide funding for women's refuges, which offer protection and support to the women affected. In order to combat trafficking in women and forced prostitution, we want more protection for witnesses and a permanent right to stay in Germany for victims. Men who pay for sex with women who have been forced into prostitution must be prosecuted.
Self-confidence, not a standard concept of beauty
"Thin equals beautiful" – this is the message promoted by the media and advertising. As a consequence, eating disorders have come to dominate the lives of many young girls, often causing lasting physical and psychological damage. Young men are now increasingly affected by this pressure to strive for the supposedly "perfect" body as well. But beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We want to encourage people to adopt a relaxed and self-confident attitude towards their own body, appearance and age.
Self-determination includes women's right to choose whether or not to continue with a pregnancy. Women in crisis must have access to broad-based counselling services on a voluntary basis. We reject compulsory counselling, and we also reject the criminalisation and prosecution of doctors performing terminations.
It is 90 years since women in Germany were given the right to vote. And yet the proportion of women in the German Bundestag has hovered around the one-third mark for years, and the figure is much lower in the municipal councils and state parliaments. We want a "parity" law, based on the French model, as a basis for bringing more women into parliament.
The country needs new men!
Gender politics also addresses the concerns and interests of boys and men. Many men also want to have new opportunities for personal and professional development and more choices in their working and private lives. Research and politics should focus more intensively on the changing roles of boys, men and fathers in our society: this is also a green goal.