Legislative initiative to further increase the share of women in leading positions by expanding the scope of the existing “Act on Equal Participation of Women and Men in Executive Positions in the Private and the Public Sector”

The ongoing evaluation and monitoring of the Act on Equal Participation in Executive Positions from 2015 has shown that the German gender quota works and has positive effects even beyond the scope of its application. The share of women on supervisory boards in large companies with a mandatory quota of at least 30% has risen to 34.9%. What is more, companies with amandatory quota set more ambitious targets for other senior positions and perform better when it comes to increasing the number of women on executive boards and at the top management levels in comparison with those companies not subject to a mandatory quota. The expansion of the existing law will therefore beef up existing obligations for companies to set more ambitious targets by allowing for sanctions in case of non-compliance. Progress made on all obligations under the existing Act and the expansion will be monitored. Furthermore, progress reports will be made public.

Implement a comprehensive, new Action Programme “Ending Violence against Women Together” to prevent gender-based violence, support women victims of violence and their children as well as enhance the relevant assistance and improve infrastructure

Germany will continue to implement the obligations of the Istanbul Convention with the help of the Action Programme. The various measures are in line with several of the Gender Equality Advisory Council (GEAC) recommendations and include aNational Roundtable as well as a Federal Funding Programme (from2019) to help fill the known gaps in the assistance system. This includes innovative ways to improve both access to the support system and services for target groups that have received insufficient assistance so far. The aim is to contribute to the needs-based expansion of services provided by women’s shelters and the relevant drop-in counselling centres. Another element of the Action Programme will be anationwide Anti-Violence-Campaign aimed at raising awareness ofviolence against women and domestic violence among the broader public and at promoting the possibilities for help and support.

Implement and evaluate the Good Childcare Act (Gute-KiTa-Gesetz).

Through this Act, the Federal Government is providing the federal states (Länder) with 5.5 billion euros in investments until 2022 to improve the quality of child day care at local level. This includes employing more personnel, extending opening hours and reducing fees (with free day care for children from low-income families).

This Act will be implemented through individual contracts between the Federal Government and the governments of the individual Länder. With a flexible and needs-based approach, the needs of both children and working parents are taken into account. This will help mothers/parents and esp. single parents (mostly women) to better reconcile work with child-rearing. It should help to increase the rate of esp. mothers taking up work after maternal and parental leave. This will lead to more gender equality in the world of work in the long run and will contribute to lowering the pension gap between men and women.

Implement new Federal Programme “Skilled Labour Initiative”

This programme is part of a broader mix of measures to improve training, working conditions, pay (e.g. training allowance) and career opportunities in the early childhood education and care sector, in which the share of women is very high.
The new programme comprises the three “P’s” for personnel:

  • Practice-integrated remunerated training: The programme promotes paid pre-service training in order to attract skilled workers to early childhood education from 2019 onwards.
  • Practical guidance: In order to ensure that more childcare teachers qualify to become training specialists and have time to train junior staff on the job, appropriate further qualifications and leave of absence are promoted.
  • Perspectives with promotion bonus: To ensure that gaining higher qualifications and assuming special responsibility are worth the effort, subsidieswill be provided for the remuneration of skilled workers entrusted with a special task on the basis of an additional qualification, thus ensuring that they earn more.