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World As Merkel bids farewell, German women wish for more equality

10:15  21 september  2021
10:15  21 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

Merkel calls migrant push at EU's border 'unacceptable'

  Merkel calls migrant push at EU's border 'unacceptable' WARSAW, Poland (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday that she found it unacceptable that refugees were being used to apply pressure to Poland and other European Union members on the border with Belarus. Speaking at a news conference during what she said she expected to be her last official visit to Poland as chancellor, Merkel appealed to Belarus, but also to Poland, to help people in difficult humanitarian conditions caught between the border of Poland and Belarus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stepped down as leader of the Christian Democrats with a farewell address. She led the CDU for 18 years and won four national elections. Delegates at the party's conference in Hamburg gave her a ten-minute standing ovation.

“Angela Merkel considers things normal that many women who grew up in West Germany consider anything but normal,” said Jutta Allmendinger, a leading German sociologist and president of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. But some young women wish she would. “Why can’t she, as one of the most powerful people in the world, for once make a fundamental statement about gender equality ?” asked Margarete Stokowski, a columnist for Spiegel online. “She avoids the whole topic because she knows if she opened it up, she would have to acknowledge just how much is still not O.K.”

BERLIN (AP) — Angela Merkel, Germany's first female chancellor, has been praised by many for her pragmatic leadership in a turbulent world and celebrated by some as a feminist icon. But a look at her track record over her 16 years at Germany's helm reveals missed opportunities for fighting gender inequality at home.

FILE - In this combo from file photos taken between 2009 and 2016 German Chancellor Angela Merkel is shown wearing her iconic blazers in different colors, as she leads the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin. Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor, has been praised by many for her pragmatic leadership in a turbulent world and celebrated by some as a feminist icon. But a look at her track record in fighting gender inequality in 16 years running Germany reveals missed opportunities in promoting women's issues. (AP Photos/Markus Schreiber, file) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this combo from file photos taken between 2009 and 2016 German Chancellor Angela Merkel is shown wearing her iconic blazers in different colors, as she leads the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin. Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor, has been praised by many for her pragmatic leadership in a turbulent world and celebrated by some as a feminist icon. But a look at her track record in fighting gender inequality in 16 years running Germany reveals missed opportunities in promoting women's issues. (AP Photos/Markus Schreiber, file) FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005 file photo, newly appointed German chancellor Angela Merkel, left, takes the oath of office in the parliament in Berlin. Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor, has been praised by many for her pragmatic leadership in a turbulent world and celebrated by some as a feminist icon. But a look at her track record in fighting gender inequality in 16 years running Germany reveals missed opportunities in promoting women's issues. (AP Photo/Fritz Reiss, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005 file photo, newly appointed German chancellor Angela Merkel, left, takes the oath of office in the parliament in Berlin. Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor, has been praised by many for her pragmatic leadership in a turbulent world and celebrated by some as a feminist icon. But a look at her track record in fighting gender inequality in 16 years running Germany reveals missed opportunities in promoting women's issues. (AP Photo/Fritz Reiss, File)

Named “The World’s Most Powerful Woman” by Forbes magazine for the last 10 years in a row, Merkel has been cast as a powerful defender of liberal values in the West. She has easily stood her ground at male-dominated summits with leaders such as former U.S. President Donald Trump or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

3 contrasting candidates seek chancellery in German election

  3 contrasting candidates seek chancellery in German election BERLIN (AP) — Germany is seeing its first three-way contest for the chancellery, with the environmentalist Greens joining the country's two traditional big parties in fielding a candidate. Chancellor Angela Merkel said nearly three years ago that she wouldn't seek a fifth four-year term. That set up the first election since West Germany's inaugural vote, in 1949, in which there is no incumbent seeking re-election. The center-left SocialChancellor Angela Merkel said nearly three years ago that she wouldn't seek a fifth four-year term. That set up the first election since West Germany's inaugural vote, in 1949, in which there is no incumbent seeking re-election.

German leader Angela Merkel has remained defiant by confirming she will not change her 'open door' policy on migrants despite a crushing defeat in state elections which gave a far-right party big gains. The election result was a damning verdict on the German leader's open door border policy, which has seen more than one million migrants stream into Europe from Syria, Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern countries. Now even a member of the CDU has appeared to hit out at Mrs Merkel on social media.

Back home in Germany , Merkel 's country and neighboring Belgium dealt with the aftermath of heavy flooding that left more than 60 people dead and dozens missing. “My sympathy goes to the relatives and of the dead and missing,” she said. Officials in Washington and elsewhere are wondering what Still, Merkel stressed in her comments to reporters that she wants Germany and the European Union to coordinate their policy toward China with Washington, including on issues such as labor rights, trade and cybersecurity. “I believe that the foundations of our dealings with China should be based on the

FILE - In this Thursday, June 7, 2007 file photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, U.S. President George Bush, Italian Premier Romano Prodi, Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, British Premier Tony Blair and Canadian Premier Stephen Harper walk to their family photo during the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany. Merkel has also been lauded as an impressive role model for girls both at home and around the globe for standing up to male leaders. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Thursday, June 7, 2007 file photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, U.S. President George Bush, Italian Premier Romano Prodi, Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, British Premier Tony Blair and Canadian Premier Stephen Harper walk to their family photo during the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany. Merkel has also been lauded as an impressive role model for girls both at home and around the globe for standing up to male leaders. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)

Millions of women admire the 67-year-old for breaking through the glass ceiling of male dominance in politics, and she’s been lauded as an impressive role model for girls.

Merkel urges western Balkans to focus on EU membership

  Merkel urges western Balkans to focus on EU membership TIRANA, Albania (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Albania on Tuesday to urge the leaders of the six western Balkan states to strengthen their regional cooperation in their strive for European Union membership. Merkel hailed the cooperation intiative, saying “the more cooperation you have, the stronger the Berlin Process will be.” The Berlin Process is a program she started in 2014 to boost regional cooperation among the western Balkan countries.“From the geo-strategic viewpoint, the EU, or concretely Germany, has its own interest in the membership of the (western Balkan) countries into the EU,” she said at a news conference.

Yesterday, Merkel left the party leadership position and handed it over to those after her, and Germany and its German people are in the best condition ever. The entire population went out to their balconies of their houses and clapped for her spontaneously for six continuous minutes. A standing ovation nationwide. Germany stood as one body bidding farewell to their leader, a chemical physicist who was not tempted by the fashion or the lights and did not buy real estate, cars, yachts and private planes, knowing that she is from former East Germany .

Germany ’s environmentalist Greens announced Monday that co-leader Annalena Baerbock will make the party's first bid for the chancellery in the September national election, while Chancellor Angela Merkel ’s center-right bloc was mired in a power struggle. Baerbock's nomination was unveiled by the party's The nomination of Baerbock, the youngest candidate to succeed Merkel and the only woman , needs endorsement from a party congress in June. She is based in eastern Brandenburg state, a rural region where the Greens once struggled to make inroads but now are part of the local government.

On trips to Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Merkel has often made a point of visiting women’s rights projects. She has always stressed that giving women in poor countries better access to education and work is key to those nations' development.

But when it comes to the situation of women in Germany, Merkel — who said in 2018 that she wouldn’t seek reelection in this Sunday's general election — has been criticized for not using her position enough to push for more gender equality.

“One thing is clear: a woman has demonstrated that women can do it," said Alice Schwarzer, Germany’s most famous feminist. “However, one female chancellor alone doesn’t make for emancipation.”

Schwarzer, the 78-year-old women's rights activist, is the most prominent founding member of the German women’s liberation movement, both loved and loathed in the country.

“She's the first one who made it all the way to the top," added Schwarzer, who has met Merkel for several one-on-one dinners over the years. "But has she done anything for women's policy aside from her sheer presence? Honestly, not a lot.”

Two votes and coalition talks: How the German election works

  Two votes and coalition talks: How the German election works BERLIN (AP) — German voters elect a new parliament on Sept. 26, a vote that will determine who succeeds Chancellor Angela Merkel after her 16 years in power. While it should be clear within hours of the polls closing how the parties fared, it may take longer to find out who the next chancellor will be — and what the political complexion of his or her government will be. Here's a look at how the process works. WHO CAN VOTE, AND WHEN? GermanWhile it should be clear within hours of the polls closing how the parties fared, it may take longer to find out who the next chancellor will be — and what the political complexion of his or her government will be. Here's a look at how the process works.

Merkel , who had a famously difficult relationship with former President Donald Trump, showed her ease and familiarity with Biden, who has long been a fixture in international politics, repeatedly referring to him as "Dear Joe.” Asked to compare her relationship with Biden to hers with Trump, Merkel But their personal warmth notwithstanding, the U.S.- German relationship is entering new territory as Merkel , who is not seeking another term in September elections, nears her departure from office. There are concerns on both sides about how the two nations will negotiate growing disagreements.

Berlin / German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the “need” to “move towards gender equality around the world” at the award ceremony for the International Award for Gender Equality granted by the Government of Finland. Merkel , who sent a video because she could not attend the ceremony in The winner also criticized the “double violence” suffered by many women who suffer gender violence: first, physical and psychological at the hands of their partners, and then the “social stigma” that isolates them from their environment. Therefore, Merkel decided to donate the 150,000 euros of the award to

German women have even seen some setbacks during Merkel's reign. Before Merkel took office in 2005, 23% of federal lawmakers for her center-right Union bloc were women. Today, the figure is 19.9%. Only the far-right Alternative for Germany party, with 10.9%, has fewer female lawmakers.

Election campaign manager Leonie Pouw smiles prior to an interview with the Associated Press in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Pouw, a 24-year-old election campaign manager in Berlin, was eight years old when Merkel came to power, so she says it was the most normal thing for her to have a female chancellor. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) © Provided by Associated Press Election campaign manager Leonie Pouw smiles prior to an interview with the Associated Press in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Pouw, a 24-year-old election campaign manager in Berlin, was eight years old when Merkel came to power, so she says it was the most normal thing for her to have a female chancellor. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Germany also lags behind other European countries when it comes to equal political representation.

In 2020, the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments and governments was 31.4% in Germany, well below Sweden's 49.6%, Belgium's 43.3% or Spain's 42.2%, according to the European Union statistics agency Eurostat.

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 18, 2013 file photo, leaders from left, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy pose during a group photo opportunity at the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. Merkel has also been lauded as an impressive role model for girls both at home and around the globe for standing up to male leaders. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, June 18, 2013 file photo, leaders from left, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy pose during a group photo opportunity at the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. Merkel has also been lauded as an impressive role model for girls both at home and around the globe for standing up to male leaders. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

Women also remain second-class citizens in Germany's working world. Last year, only 14.6% of top-level managers in big listed German companies were women. Germany also has one of the biggest gender pay gaps in the EU, with women earning 18% less than men in 2020, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

How Germans will look back on Angela Merkel

  How Germans will look back on Angela Merkel When the German chancellor steps down, how will history remember her? Four experts have their say.When Mrs Merkel steps down after 16 years in power, how will history remember her?

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 25, 2017 file photo, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser of U.S. President Donald Trump and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, from left, jokingly raise their hands to support that they consider German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, being a feminist during a panel at the W20 Summit in Berlin, Germany. Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor, has been praised by many for her pragmatic leadership in a turbulent world and celebrated by some as a feminist icon. But a look at her track record in fighting gender inequality in 16 years running Germany reveals missed opportunities in promoting women's issues. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, April 25, 2017 file photo, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser of U.S. President Donald Trump and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, from left, jokingly raise their hands to support that they consider German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, being a feminist during a panel at the W20 Summit in Berlin, Germany. Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor, has been praised by many for her pragmatic leadership in a turbulent world and celebrated by some as a feminist icon. But a look at her track record in fighting gender inequality in 16 years running Germany reveals missed opportunities in promoting women's issues. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

Some experts say Merkel has pressed for more power for women in indirect ways.

“Angela Merkel did not take up her job with the claim to use her role as chancellor for the support of women or making gender equality her vested interest,” said Julia Reuschenbach, a political analyst at the University of Bonn. “However, she did very much engage in promoting other women in politics."

Ursula von der Leyen, a Merkel Cabinet stalwart, became the European Commission's first female president in 2019. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer succeeded Merkel as leader of her CDU in 2018, though she failed to impose her authority on the party and stepped down earlier this year.

Floods, books & kids: Highlights of German election campaign

  Floods, books & kids: Highlights of German election campaign BERLIN (AP) — Germans go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new parliament and produce a new German leader after 16 years of having Angela Merkel at the helm. Merkel decided not to run for a fifth term and the election campaign has largely focused on the three candidates hoping to succeed her. Here is a look at the highs, the lows and the unexpected that happened during Germany's latest campaign: WHAT'S HOT Climate change rose to the top of Germany's political agenda over the summer, following the deadly floods that hit western Germany in July and which experts say will become more likely if global warming continues.

In 2007, von der Leyen, who was then family minister in Merkel's Cabinet, pushed through a progressive reform of the country's child-raising allowance which encouraged fathers to take some parental leave after the birth of a child. However, it was one of few legal changes during the chancellor's tenure that actively sought to improve the situation of women.

One reason for Merkel's reluctance to fight more openly for feminist issues in Germany may be her own struggle to get to the top of German politics, Schwarzer said.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007, file photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, asks a woman, front, to join a group photo with Indian country women during her visit to the NABARD-Bank in Mumbai, India. On trips to Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Merkel has often made a point of visiting women’s rights projects. She has always stressed that giving women in poor countries better access to education and work is key to those nations' development. (AP Photo/Herbert Knosowski, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007, file photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, asks a woman, front, to join a group photo with Indian country women during her visit to the NABARD-Bank in Mumbai, India. On trips to Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Merkel has often made a point of visiting women’s rights projects. She has always stressed that giving women in poor countries better access to education and work is key to those nations' development. (AP Photo/Herbert Knosowski, File)

“Merkel got a lot of pushback as a woman,” especially early in her political career, she said. “She didn't expect that, so that may be a reason she didn't pick out the fact that she is a woman as her central topic.”

Influential men in her conservative, traditionally West German and Catholic-dominated party didn't exactly welcome the Protestant former East German physicist with open arms, and male politicians from other parties initially did not treat her respectfully, Schwarzer said.

Merkel's legacy looms large over Germany. Who will step up in her place?

  Merkel's legacy looms large over Germany. Who will step up in her place? “Whoever comes in isn’t going to have that stature, isn’t going to have that kind of history and practice,” one analyst said.After 16 years beset by crises and critics, Angela Merkel, arguably the world’s most powerful woman, is stepping down from the world stage.

German journalists' comments on Merkel's appearance were often openly sexist, particularly in the beginning. German media first dubbed her “Kohl's girl,” because Merkel was initially promoted by then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and later called her “Mutti,” or “mommy,” even though Merkel has no children.

Leonie Pouw, a 24-year-old election campaign manager in Berlin, was eight years old when Merkel came to power, so she says it was the most normal thing for her to have a female chancellor.

“It was only in school, when I started to have political awareness, that I realized how much it meant, especially for the older generation, that a woman is leading Germany,” said Pouw, who grew up in southwestern Germany. “When I understood that, it made me proud, too."

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 file photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses with women after a conference with women in leadership at the chancellery in Berlin. Millions of women admire the 67-year-old for breaking through the glass ceiling of male dominance in politics, and she’s been lauded as an impressive role model for girls both at home and around the globe. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 file photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses with women after a conference with women in leadership at the chancellery in Berlin. Millions of women admire the 67-year-old for breaking through the glass ceiling of male dominance in politics, and she’s been lauded as an impressive role model for girls both at home and around the globe. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

Nonetheless, Pouw thinks that Merkel could have done more for women's rights and noted that none of Merkel's Cabinets throughout her four terms achieved gender parity.

FILE - In this  Monday, Jan. 26, 2009 file photo, German Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the publisher Alice Schwarzer, from left, take part on a '90 years of women's right to vote' morning performance at the chancellory in Berlin, Germany. Millions of women admire the 67-year-old for breaking through the glass ceiling of male dominance in politics, and she’s been lauded as an impressive role model for girls both at home and around the globe. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File): Germany Merkel Women © Provided by Associated Press Germany Merkel Women

“I wish that in the future there will be as many women as men representing us,” Pouw said.

When Merkel herself was asked in 2017 whether she was a feminist, she answered evasively, saying: "I don’t want to embellish myself with a title I don’t have.”

Only in the last few years did Merkel take up the topic proactively and speak out for more gender equality in Germany. In 2018, as Germany marked the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, she said in a speech in Berlin to the loud applause of mostly female listeners that there was a lot still to do to achieve gender equality.

As curtain falls on Merkel era, Germany’s largest parties set to vie for power

  As curtain falls on Merkel era, Germany’s largest parties set to vie for power Germans will elect a new federal parliament in a vote that will determine who could succeed Angela Merkel. Sunday's general election saw Scholz's SPD win 25.7% of the vote, closely followed by the conservative CDU at 24.1%, according to official preliminary results released Monday morning. However, they alone don't have the majority needed to rule and will have to form strategic coalitions that will determine who will govern the country.

FILE - In this  Wednesday, July 17, 2019, file photo, from right, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, new elected European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, von der Leyen's successor as German Defense Minister, attend an office over ceremony at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, July 17, 2019.Ursula von der Leyen, a Merkel Cabinet stalwart, became the European Commission's first female president in 2019. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer succeeded Merkel as leader of her CDU in 2018, though she failed to impose her authority on the party and stepped down earlier this year. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Wednesday, July 17, 2019, file photo, from right, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, new elected European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, von der Leyen's successor as German Defense Minister, attend an office over ceremony at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, July 17, 2019.Ursula von der Leyen, a Merkel Cabinet stalwart, became the European Commission's first female president in 2019. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer succeeded Merkel as leader of her CDU in 2018, though she failed to impose her authority on the party and stepped down earlier this year. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

“The goal needs to be equality, equality everywhere,” she said. “I hope it becomes natural for women and men to split up work, raising the children and doing the household equally ... and I hope it's not going to take another 100 years to get there.”

Merkel has talked little about her experiences of discrimination or her personal life and her husband, quantum chemist Joachim Sauer, has kept a low public profile.

In the last few weeks, Merkel took a noteworthy step in further embracing women's rights, declaring at a discussion with women in Duesseldorf: “I'm a feminist.”

“Yes, we should all be feminists,” she added.

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Pietro De Cristofaro contributed reporting.

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Follow AP’s coverage of Germany’s election at https://apnews.com/hub/germany-election

As curtain falls on Merkel era, Germany’s largest parties set to vie for power .
Germans will elect a new federal parliament in a vote that will determine who could succeed Angela Merkel. Sunday's general election saw Scholz's SPD win 25.7% of the vote, closely followed by the conservative CDU at 24.1%, according to official preliminary results released Monday morning. However, they alone don't have the majority needed to rule and will have to form strategic coalitions that will determine who will govern the country.

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