These last few days have been incredibly busy at work and the next week will be equally, if not more, busy. In a different and hopefully inspiring way, but still…. BUSY! So on this weekend I’m getting all the rest I can get in advance, even though I know this will probably be in vain.
I’m still thinking about how to best continue the “My Feminism” series. Maybe I’ll just write down the random inequalities I see on a daily basis, if I ever start doing more regular posts again. Earlier this week I had a meeting in a city council’s conference room. There were a lot of photos of various dignitaries on the wall in this room. I needed a moment to figure out who these persons were. It was a gallery of all German Presidents, starting from when the Federal Republic of (West-)Germany was constituted in 1949 up to the current one. 12 photos. 12 men! Of course!
There is so much to say about why I consider it a bad thing that women are underrepresentated in politics on every level. Yes, we have had a female German Chancellor for almost 15 years now and she does have close to 50% of female ministers on her cabinet. But still… it’s parliament that matters, even it sometimes looks like it doesn’t because chancellor, presidents, prime ministers or whoever the politcal head of state is called in a country are “running” the show. But it’s the legislative body – parliament – that’s setting the rules and laws and budgets and therefore are in charge. Nominally at least. Anyway… On the current federal parliament in Germany only 31% of the seats are taken by women. There had been up to 36% some time ago, but often only just around 30% in the last 25 years. Even much less before that. It’s similar on every other level of politics. And it sucks because it is so important to have equal representation if you want to make laws and budgets that take women’s issues into consideration. Laws and budgets that ensure that women have the same opportunities than men do.
Maybe more women on the legislative body could acchieve laws and regulations and budgets that keep more women safe and healthy. I only had a vague idea of how health research favours men and therefore women are at a disadvantage when almost 20 years ago a distant coworker was contributing to a study about exactly that issue. I knew about how a symptoms of a heart attack present very different in a woman than a man and therefore women’s heart attacks often aren’t diagnosed as such. Recently I read a Guardian article about “The deadly truth about a world built for men – from stab vests to car crashes”. How can it be in the 21th century that half the population is at a much higher risk to be severly injured in a car crash than the other half? It’s staggering and maddening. And that’s why we need more women in parliaments, more women in sciences, more women on the justice benches. More women organising Climate Strikes.
Ok, total segue here now, but can I just say how much I love Greta Thunberg? How much I love, that it’s a young woman and her calm persistence, that started one of the biggest peaceful protest movements in this decade? I really hope she won’t let get all the negative comments and mocking and hate get under her skin. The deep rooted mysogyny in politics and the public view on politics definitely needs an extra post, once I’ve gathered my thoughts on this. But let’s just say, it’s telling that it’s mostly “angry, (old), white men” critising or making fun of Greta and her fellow protestors.