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Women in the CDU: Those who want to lead need elbows instead of quotas


In the fight for the CDU chairmanship, three men are campaigning for themselves in a town hall meeting today. It's embarrassing for the party - but also for the women.

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It could, but doesn't want to: Karin Prien, Minister of Education from Kiel


Christoph Soeder / dpa

The name Sabine Buder may mean something to anyone who has followed the news in the past week.

This is the name of a 37-year-old politician from Brandenburg who wanted to run as CDU chairwoman.

She would have been the only woman in the dominantly male field of applicants.

Her district association, however, did not nominate her due to a lack of prospects of success.

Some media, including SPIEGEL, see this as evidence of how difficult it is for women in politics in general and in the Union in particular.

You can see it like that.

But one can also ask: Is a person who cannot even convince their own district association really qualified to take on such an important office as party chairmanship?

Tonight, three applicants nominated by the base for the chief position in the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus will answer questions from the CDU members: one Friedrich, one Norbert, one Helge.

A woman is not there.

However, this has only to do with the Christian Democrats' aversion to women in leadership positions.

Angela Merkel chaired the CDU for a total of 18 years.

The party then re-elected a chairperson.

The one-sided pool of candidates shows something else: It is not so easy in politics to find women who want to lead.

The education minister of Schleswig-Holstein, for example, Karin Prien, - unlike Ms. Buder - would have had a chance of becoming party chairman.

She is popular, successful and masters public appearances.

But she just wants to become deputy party leader.

Prien let it be known that she could well imagine working with a chairman, Friedrich Merz.

The question is: why doesn't she run for party leader and say she could well imagine Friedrich Merz in her team?

It cannot be due to a lack of role models.

"Because it was too stupid for me"

Ilse Aigner, President of the Bavarian State Parliament, aptly formulated the position of many women politicians a few years ago. Aigner was once considered the only one in the CSU who could have challenged Markus Söder for the post of Prime Minister. "At some point I stopped playing this game because it was too stupid for me," she told Zeit-Magazin. She may even honor the fact that she did not want to pull out the "last elbow" in a clinch with Söder, as Aigner said in the SPIEGEL interview last year. Your behavior suggests a decent, nice politician. Nevertheless, if the game is too stupid for women, you shouldn't be surprised if men are at the top in the end.

What could help change the rules of the game?

A popular argument is that it takes more women politicians at all levels to have enough applicants for top positions.

That is why the CDU is now also debating an expanded quota.

You can see with the Greens that it only creates other problems.

Thanks to their quota of women, they have almost 60 percent women MPs in the new Bundestag.

Only around 40 percent of the Greens are women.

There is only one catch.

The CDU was led by women for almost 20 years.

With the Greens, according to the statutes, there is always a woman at the top.

In fact, since Petra Kelly, the party has not produced a woman who was at the top of the informal hierarchy.

That was over 30 years ago.

The track record of the Greens women's quota looks like this:

The party's first state minister: a man.

The first green vice chancellor: a man

The first green mayor: a man

The first green prime minister: a man.

The first Green Federal Minister with a migration background will: You guessed it.

“You don't get power for free.

The women have to get them. "

The politicians of the Greens operate in a parallel political world in which gender is the most important requirement for the top position.

Regardless of the choice, the first place is reserved for a woman.

In this way, women are spared confrontation with men.

In such a feminist cocoon you can live comfortably until it comes to that sphere of politics that Joschka Fischer once called the »death zone«.

It is the region that women like Ilse Aigner say goodbye to.

Annalena Baerbock has not said goodbye.

She wanted to become the first female chancellor of the Greens.

But how should that work?

In the fight for the Chancellery, a quota no longer helps.

Those who have learned to gain power and majorities prevail.

The political sanctuary in which women operate with the Greens does not prepare for this fight.

Of course, it is a deplorable state of affairs when women are underrepresented in politics.

It is right that the parties are looking for solutions.

But structural reforms or a quota alone are clearly not the answer.

Whether women get more power is first and foremost up to them. Power is not given for free.

The women have to get them.

Anyone who does not feel like playing power games or who avoids them is out of place in politics.

At all levels.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-12-01

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