Equal opportunities and the compatibility of family and career

Event: Social Justice and Trade Unions

Dr. Christina Klenner, head of the department on gender studies at the German Hans-Böckler-Foundation, delivered several lectures during her stay in Shanghai on April 16/17.

Photo: FES China

According to Dr. Klenner’s observation, Germany recently launched a number of laws aiming at creating more equal opportunities for women and men at the workplace. However, the underlying change of gender role models already started at least 15 years back Dr. Klenner explained to experts and students from Tongji University, the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology and the Shanghai Women’s Federation. Since then women started to play an ever greater role in the job market.

Yet, a deeper analysis reveals that most women work only part-time. In Germany less than 25 percent of mothers are working full-time and therefore earn less and receive less pensions. Dr. Klenner’s policy recommendations ranged – among others – from better and affordable child care facilities, and the introduction of a family-oriented tax system to a legislation which enforces that men and women are paid the same for the same work. She sketched the vision that all men and women should be able to actively engage both in the labor market and the family.

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