Angela Merkel Named First Woman Chancellor of Germany
Angela Merkel will replace Gerhard Schroeder as chancellor of Germany, becoming the first woman and first East German to hold the office. The decision came after three weeks of negotiation between the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD), following an inconclusive election. The two opposing parties decided to attempt joint rule, in a ‘grand coalition’ headed by the CDU’s Merkel.
Merkel, a former physicist, has tended to downplay her gender and East German roots. But as her campaign drew to a close, she assertively courted women voters, giving an interview to Germany’s leading feminist magazine, Emma, and emphasizing her commitment to women’s issues such as improved child care. As she told Emma, “Never before in my political life have I been taken so seriously as woman as in the past few months. ... In return, I have publicly recognized my feminine identity to an unusual measure," Der Spiegel reports.
Germany’s left-leaning parties have instituted quotas to ensure that one-third of candidates for office are women, but the CDU has been traditionally dominated by Catholic West German men. Yet Merkel gained a top position as Minister for Women and Youth within a year of joining the party in 1989, despite being nicknamed “the girl” by party leader Helmut Kohl.
Media Resources: Deutsche Welle 9/30/05; BBC 10/10/05; Der Spiegel 9/7/05; Associated Press 9/9/05; Washington Times 9/18/05; Wikipedia
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .