No. of women’s shelters


















Safe houses










Places for women victims of violence and their children in women’s shelters and safe houses


378 ( 453 )















5 583

Shelters for women refugees with experience of violence









Specialised counselling centres:











Counselling centres for victims of domestic violence











Counselling centres for victims of sexualised violence/women’s emergency support hotlines












Counselling centres for women and girls with disabilities







Counselling centres for victims of domestic violence/honour-related violence/ FGM/forced marriage












Intervention centres
















125.The objective of the “Together Against Violence Towards Women” federal funding programme is to further support the needs-based expansion of facilities.

126.The BMFSFJ sponsored the scientific monitoring of the “Needs Analysis and Planning to Further Develop the Support System for Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence” model project in 2019/20. The following three guiding questions were defined in close cooperation with the Länder, and building blocks were developed and implemented by five of the Länder:

(a)Do all women affected by violence receive timely protection and help?

(b)What services do women need in light of their differing situations? Do needs differ in rural and urban areas?

(c)How can the support system be (re)designed to actually meet those needs? How can reliable cooperation with institutions in the support system be established to form an integrated supply chain?

127.This scientific monitoring examined how transferable the building blocks put in place by the Länder are. The recommendations for action derived from that analysis and a final report were published in early 2021.

Re para. 12: Trafficking (THB) and exploitation of prostitution

Re 12 (a)

128.In Germany, the police and specialised counselling centres cooperate closely at federal, state and local level. This cooperation is primarily based on the federal strategy on cooperation between the police and specialised counselling centres and on the corresponding cooperation strategies of the Länder (see also Germany’s 2019 GRETA Report, para. 30, available online at https://rm.coe.int/greta-2019-07-fgr-deu-en/1680950011).

129.In parallel, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the Länder regularly deliver training on THB which usually involves the specialised counselling centres (see GRETA Report, paras. 38–40). Further, the BKA and the Länder organise annual conferences which are attended by police officers employed by the municipalities.

130.All the aforementioned measures regularly include gender-sensitive awareness-raising, for instance regarding how vulnerable young women are of falling victim to so-called “loverboys”, regarding the threat of cyber grooming, or identifying victims during the asylum process. The “THB LIBERI” project (2018–2021), co-financed by the EU Internal Security Fund, focuses on the exploitation of children, adolescents and young adults in Germany and Europe and aims, for example, to raise cross-institutional awareness of and sensitivity to dealing with (mainly female) victims. Both operative and preventive measures are implemented, for example a “Preventive Instagram Chat” on the loverboy method, which has drawn a large response.

131.Further measures are detailed in Germany’s GRETA Report, paras. 63–69.

Re 12 (b)

132.Germany has enacted comprehensive legislation on THB which complies with Directive 2011/36/EU and, by criminalising forced prostitution, forced labour and labour exploitation (see GRETA Report, paras. 221ff.), even goes beyond the Directive. The police at federal and state level have established specialised THB units. Some public prosecution offices also have specialised THB departments. For details, see GRETA Report, paras. 247ff.

Re 12 (c)

133.No such national identification mechanism is in place, nor are there plans to introduce one. Responsibility for criminal prosecution and protecting the victims of THB falls to the Länder. Various agreements have been entered into at Länder level which regulate cooperation between the police and specialised counselling centres.

Re 12 (d), (e)

134.The above-mentioned close cooperation between the police and specialised counselling centres guarantees that victims of THB receive support, including medical, psychological and legal assistance (see GRETA Report, paras. 136–146). The Länder authorities are also responsible for identifying victims during the asylum process. Please also refer to GRETA Report, paras. 130–134 regarding the numerous measures implemented, for example an advisory and support programme for women refugees in North Rhine-Westphalia.

135.The provisions on a temporary right of residence of 2007 and amendments made thereto (since 2014 a directory rather than a discretionary provision) were already explained in Germany’s last report. No further amendments were made beyond that since 2017.

Re 12 (f)

136.The versions of the revised criminal offences aimed at combating THB (sections 232–233a StGB: human trafficking, forced prostitution, forced labour, labour exploitation and exploitation involving deprivation of liberty) applicable since October 2016 are currently being evaluated at the request of the German Bundestag Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection. The impact and practical application of the amended provisions are also being reviewed following criticism expressed at international level of the alleged inadequate prosecution of these offences in Germany so as, if necessary, to enable improvements to be made as regards combating THB. An analysis is also to be conducted of how human trafficking offences are recorded statistically. The results of this evaluation are expected in autumn 2021.

Re 12 (g)

137.The Länder maintained various counselling centres and continued other support services for women and girls in prostitution in the reporting period, including safe houses (e.g. in Bavaria), outreach work (e.g. in Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Saarland), advice on dropping out or retraining (e.g. in Bavaria, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Schleswig Holstein, Hesse, Bremen), awareness-raising (e.g. in Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse), PR work (e.g. in Lower Saxony, Sachsen-Anhalt). See Annex II for examples.

Re para. 13: Participation in political and public life

138.Despite the positive trend in some of the Länder and municipalities and the extension of various measures, especially as part of high-profile nationwide celebrations in 2019 to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage, women unfortunately continue to be underrepresented in political life in Germany. Nevertheless, where career programmes or political party-internal gender quotas have been introduced, the share of women has at least increased at Länder level.

139.Drawing on detailed data presented in the Fourth Gender Equality Atlas (2020) – whose data can be searched in English using interactive maps relating to 41 different indicators, including political participation, at https://www.bmfsfj.de/bmfsfj/meta/en/equality/equalityatlas?view=, and in Annex I – the following table provides a summary of the percentages of women at various political levels in 2015 and 2019:

2015 (in %)

2019 (in %)

Share of women in local government

27 . 1

27 . 7

Share of women in top administrative positions in counties/urban districts/ districts in city-states

10 . 6

11 . 1

Share of women minister-presidents, ministers and senators in the Länder

37 . 5

39 . 8

Share of women in Land parliaments

31 . 6

29 . 9

Share of women in the German Bundestag

36 . 0

31 . 2

Share of women in the Federal Government

37 . 5

47 . 8

140.Thuringia and Brandenburg were the first of the German Länder to adopt state-level parity laws in the reporting period. These require lists of candidates in Land elections to have equal numbers of men and women. Other Länder (Berlin, Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Lower Saxony) are also discussing whether to reform their electoral laws to require either equal numbers of men and women in lists of candidates or mixed duos in constituencies. However, in 2020 the Land constitutional courts of Thuringia and Brandenburg found the parity laws enacted to be unconstitutional. To what extent the Federal Constitutional Court will follow these judgments and what impact they will have on the debate on parity legislation in these and other Länder remains to be seen.

141.Many Länder and the Federal Government also support non-legislative measures. Brandenburg, for instance, has held empowerment workshops and networking meetings for active honorary local politicians, as well as parity conferences, discussions and exhibitions around the centenary of women’s suffrage and the current level of political participation. The “Women’s Polling Station” in Potsdam is worth mentioning as an example. One outcome of its activities was that a road in the city centre was renamed after female politicians. The website www.brandenburg-paritaetisch.de provides information and expert reports for the general public.

142.A new mentoring programme for the 2021 local elections was launched in Lower Saxony on 1 March 2019. Lower Saxony is using the sixth such programme, entitled “WOMEN. POWER. DEMOCRACY”, to increase the share of women in politics.

143.At federal level, the 2017 Coalition Agreement provides for the Helene Weber College and the Helene Weber Prize to be made permanent. Since 2009 the Prize has been awarded to women who have made outstanding contributions to local politics. During the current project phase (2019–2022), the College will be running empowerment programmes aimed at making it easier for young women to enter politics. Further, studies are being carried out to determine what structural obstacles (e.g. male culture in political parties) stand in the way of women entering and getting ahead in politics.

Re para. 14: Education

Re 14 (a), (b)

144.When it comes to promoting professional diversification and equal opportunities, traditional understandings of gender roles still need to be expanded and action taken to combat gender stereotypes. All policy levels in Germany are committed to achieving these goals.

145.Besides the following explanations, see also re para. 9.

146.Germany has a very gender-equitable education system in which girls are not discriminated against. Each year since 1992 more girls have completed their schooling with an Abitur (higher education entrance qualification) than boys, that is some 3.8m girls compared to some 3.1m boys. By comparison, in recent years more boys than girls have completed their intermediate school leaving certificate, i.e. 173,385 boys and 164,193 girls in 2019.

147.In 2020, 53.7 per cent of those entitled to study were female. The share of women with a general higher education entrance qualification (for vocational and general schools) of the same-age resident population was just under 46.3 per cent in 2019, while the share of men was around 34.6 per cent. A total of 51.8 per cent of students in the first semester at university were women in 2019. Diversification, especially when it comes to the choice of degree course and career path, the share of women addressed by the Committee, particularly that of women migrants in higher positions in the education sector, remain important areas of activity.

148.In Germany, responsibility for education falls to the Länder. In 2016, the two bodies of ministers responsible at Land level for gender equality (GFMK) and for education (Standing Conference of German Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, KMK) for the first time adopted joint measures on combating gender stereotypes in the education sector. These were rolled out at Länder level in 2017. Guidelines elaborated jointly by the GFMK and the KMK entitled “More Equality of Opportunities through Gender-Sensitive Upbringing, Education and Training” contain requirements to be made of exam questions, teaching and learning materials, and the training and continuing training of teachers. They also form a key element when it comes to avoiding discriminatory gender stereotyping and promoting boys and girls equally at school. Implementing these guidelines includes building teachers’ gender skills and addressing and combating, for example, sexualised violence in schools.

149.The service centre of the national “No Clichés” initiative (funded jointly by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the BMFSFJ since 2016) advises a growing network of partners (as at January 2021: 310) and posts practical materials, background information and success stories on its website with the aim of ensuring that careers and degree courses are chosen free of gender stereotypes.

150.The Boys’Day (since 2011) and Girls’Day (since 2001) continue to be important initiatives. The BMFSFJ has since 2020 sponsored the “YouCodeGirls” project, which aims to awaken girls’ and young women’s interest in programming free of stereotypes and to support and strengthen the potential tapped into on the road to professional engagement. The creation of an internet platform to pool custom-fit offers forms the heart of this project.

151.The BMBF’s National Pact for Women in MINT Careers, already referred to in Germany’s last report, now has more than 360 partners from trade and industry, science and the media; the Federal Government, Länder and the Federal Employment Agency (BA) are also involved. Between 2015 and 2021 the BMBF provided some €20.5m in funding to 55 research and implementation projects under the “Success with MINT – New Opportunities for Women” project. Main focuses include information technology and the regional networking of existing information and placements for young women. These measures contributed to another above-average increase in the share of women who enrolled in a MINT subject: between 2015 and 2019 by an additional 2.6 percentage points to 34.2 per cent. The number of female students in these subjects stands at more than 119,000, almost doubling since 2008.

152.The Länder promote the achievement of substantial gender equality and actively work towards eliminating existing inequalities in academia. This includes, for example, quality assurances rules for courses and teachers. The State Agreement on the Organisation of a Common Credit System for Quality Assurance in Courses and Teaching at German Higher Education Institutions, which entered into force on 1 January 2018, determines that courses must fulfil both subject-related criteria, including gender equality measures.

153.One example of a measure implemented at Land level is a programme in Saxony-Anhalt to promote careers’ advice for schoolgirls from year 11 onwards and young women entitled to study at a university. It included two projects: “Choose MINT, Make up your MINT” and “The Future is FEMININE”. Under the EU’s Structural and Investment Fund 2014–2020 the priority area of action “Supporting Women in MINT Careers” continued in the form of three projects using funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) and available Land funding of more than €2.2m.

Re 14 (c)

154.Following on from the previous report, gender equality in higher education institutions and science have also continued to receive funding since 2017 under the programme for female professors. The share of women in top positions within the academic system has also increased, and women’s representation at all qualification levels within academia has improved, even though the goal of equal participation has not yet been achieved.

155.The Federal Government and the Länder have allocated €200m to the third programme funding phase (2018–2022). This corresponds to a rise of 33 per cent compared to the previous two phases.

156.So far more than 700 tenured female professors (pay grades W2, W3) have benefitted from this funding. The programme also aims to use structural measures to trigger cultural changes in academia by creating incentives to develop gender equality concepts.

157.The 24th update of data on “Women in Higher Education and Non-University Research Facilities” by the Joint Science Conference of the Federal Government and the Länder reveals the following shares of women and rates of increase in higher education institutions:

2012 (in %)

2018 (in %)

Share of women qualified to study


53 . 4

Share of women with doctorate (PhD)


45 . 2

Share of women with Habilitation (post-doctorate)


31 . 6

Share of female professors

20 . 4

24 . 7

Re 14 (d)

158.The Federal Government’s Joint Integration Strategy covers the following areas: language teaching; integration in vocational training, employment and education; and social integration. Measures are geared to ensuring equal opportunities: they are open to all those entitled to participate, regardless of national, ethnic or religious background.

159.Early language and value teaching are particularly important for successful integration. Accordingly, a wide range of courses is made available by the Federal Government and local authorities, and these were further expanded in the reporting period. The integration courses organised by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) and the BAMF, together with the vocation-specific language courses (”German for professional purposes”) organised by the BMAS, comprise the “Overall Language Programme”.

160.In early 2017, funding was resumed for childcare to accompany integration courses. It is subsidiary to regular municipal childcare offers, as providing sufficient childcare facilities falls within their remit.

161.Access to federal language courses was significantly enhanced for readily employable foreign nationals with a permission to remain who entered the country prior to 1 August 2019. Focussing especially on mothers with a permission to remain to promote easier access to language classes, all those who raise children are not required to meet the “readily employable” criterion. Further, anyone with permission to remain, who has good prospects of being permitted to stay, permanently is given immediate access to these courses. Further, access to vocational language courses was opened up to those whose obligation for departure has been suspended for at least six months.

162.In August 2019 promotion of vocational training under the SGB was opened up to all foreign nationals who have access to the German labour and vocational training market. Access to measures which accompany vocational training was fully opened up. Access to instruments preparatory to vocational training was likewise greatly simplified.

163.Moreover, there are courses for women which are designed and carried out by women, for example the “MiA” (Women Migrants Simply Strong in Everyday Life) course. What is characteristic of these courses is that they are especially easy to access and are aimed both at women who have been living in Germany for quite some time and the newly arrived. They are aimed specifically at women whom national integration programmes have not been able to reach so far.

Re 14 (e)

164.In November 2000 the BMBF organised the symposium “Impetus for Europe – Equitable Structures and Diversity in Research”, attended by more than 700 participants. They discussed European and international perspectives and challenges around the structural anchoring of gender mainstreaming and diversity in research. It not only focused on bringing about structural change, but also a more general cultural shift. The BMBF also raised the visibility of the new “Women in Science, Research and Innovation: Making Performance and Potentials Visible, Anchoring Visibility Structurally” funding measure (“Focus on Innovative Women”). Research and implementation projects and meta projects have been allocated a total of €41m in funding for the period 2020–2026.

Re para. 15: Employment

Re 15 (a)

165.The Federal Government and the Länder continue to combat the root causes of the gender pay gap holistically in order to reduce this gap. The difference between women’s and men’s average gross hourly wages in Germany was 18 per cent in 2020 (2019: 19 per cent; 2018: 20 per cent; 2017: 21 per cent). For further data, see Annex I.

166.Important measures for reducing the gender pay gap include combating gender stereotypes as well as those initiatives which were already mentioned in previous reports and oral communication, for instance the statutory minimum wage (2015), parental allowance and parental allowance plus (2007; 2015), promoting female entrepreneurs or the “Towards Reintegration” programme of action.

167.Expanding and improving the quality of childcare, including through the Good Daycare Facilities Act (Gute-KiTa-Gesetz, 2019) – see paras. 15 (h), 18 (c) – and improving support for employed people with unpaid care responsibilities, for example under the Act to Facilitate the Reconciliation of Family, Care and Work (since 2015), contribute to reducing the gender pay gap.

168.Based on a 2019 evaluation of the Act to Promote Transparency in Wage Structures, the BMFSFJ will be working to further raise the profile and application of the Act, for example through further information and advisory services.

169.Moreover, in 2020 the BMFSFJ published its “Equality Check for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises”, a self-test.

170.The “Promoting Equal Pay. Advising, Supporting, Strengthening Businesses” programme was launched in December 2020. It aims to ensure that equal pay forms the core of in-company human resources policy. For further information, see www.entgeltgleichheit-fördern.de.

Enhancing the reputation of the social professions

171.The Reform Act of Training of the Caring Professions, enacted in 2017, combined the previously separate training programmes for geriatric, healthcare and paediatric nurses. The new nursing training commenced in 2020. The reform will improve training conditions and make the nursing profession more attractive, given that women represent the majority in the nursing profession (i.e. some 80 per cent). The new funding system also guarantees that trainees pay no tuition fees and that they receive an appropriate training allowance.

172.The BMFSFJ launched its Vocational Training Campaign for the Care Sector (2019–2023) in 2019, as part of which the Federal Government, Länder and associations are supporting the successful roll-out of the above-mentioned new nursing training courses. It is part of the “Concerted Action for the Care Workforce” initiative (KAP) launched jointly by the BMG, BMAS and BMFSFJ which aims to make lasting improvements to the work situation for nurses and care workers by improving working conditions, staffing levels and pay.

173.The Care Wage Improvement Act, which entered into force in 2019, sets the legal framework for better pay in the nursing professions. The Fourth Ordinance on Mandatory Working Conditions in the Nursing Sector entered into force in 2020 and sets down minimum wages and holiday entitlements for geriatric nursing professionals.

174.The federal “Skilled-Labour-Initiative” (2019–2022) for early childhood educators and care professionals served to effectively trigger improvements in regard to paid practical training and good professional development prospects.

Supporting women in self-employment/start-ups

175.Disparity as regards employment opportunities is also in evidence in the self-employed sector: only 7 per cent of working women are self-employed (working men: 12 per cent; figures for 2018; source: Destatis).

176.To increase the women’s share here, the Federal Government is continuing to support successful measures, including the “WOMEN Entrepreneurs” initiative, launched in 2014, the National Agency for Women’s Start-up Activities and Services (bga) and the web portal www.existenzgruenderinnen.de/DE/Home/home_node.html operated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

177.The BMFSFJ has, since 2019, sponsored the bga’s “Women Undertaking Future” project, which aims to draw up recommendations for action in areas which will in future be of relevance to start-ups run by women, for example in digitalisation.

178.The „Self-made Women” project run by the German Association of Rural Women is another example (see also para. 18 (a)).

Initiatives with civil society and social partners

179.Since 2008 the Business and Professional Women Germany Association has – with the Federal Government’s support – backed Equal Pay Day, now a year-round campaign which is well-known across Germany. The last Equal Pay Day was on 10 March 2021. The current funding period (2020–2023) focuses on significantly expanding its social media presence to reach new target groups.

180.The “What do Women Earn? Economic Independence!” campaign run by the Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB) and supported by the BMFSFJ is now in its fourth project phase (2020–2023).

181.The Länder are also actively involved in projects aimed at reducing the gender pay gap – see the examples in Annex II.

Re 15 (b)

182.Diverse training opportunities in more than 300 dual or school-based vocational training professions are accessible in Germany. They open up opportunities for professional development, including in non-traditional professions. The BA supports young people through its gender-sensitive, open and objective career orientation, career guidance and training placement measures. Since 1 January 2019 life-long career guidance commences before someone starts their first job, meaning that the BA has significantly expanded the range of support it delivers. Particularly, the presence of careers advisers in schools is continually being expanded. Since autumn 2020 career guidance has been available via video conferencing across Germany. All the available career orientation and career guidance services (incl. career orientation events, online services and one-to-one counselling) are closely dovetailed. Moreover, the opportunities available for promoting vocational and continuing education and training have been regularly expanded based on several statutory regulations.

183.Since 2015 the BMAS has supported the social partners in establishing sustainable continuing education and training structures and improving women’s equal participation in the labour market as part of implementing the ESF Directive “Securing Skilled Labour: Continuing Education and Training, Promoting Gender Equality”. It is a joint initiative of the Confederation of German Employer Associations and of the DGB.

Re 15 (c)

184.Reference is, first, made to the explanations regarding the German pension system provided in the last report, especially concerning the crediting of child-education periods to compensate for the disadvantages suffered by parents raising children. The 2018 Act to Improve Pension Coverage and Stabilise the State Pension System, which entered into force on 1 January 2019, increased the periods credited for raising children born before 1992 (“Mothers’ Pension II”) from 24 to 30 months. The new rule not only benefits those who began drawing their pension after 2019, but also the almost 10m parents who are already retired and who raised children born before 1992.

185.Second, the Act to Introduce the Basic Pension for Long-Term Payees into the Statutory Pension Scheme entered into force on 1 January 2021. Anyone who has accumulated a statutory pension scheme period of at least 33 years, especially in dependent employment, but also accounting of periods spent raising children and/or caring for family members, now receives a “basic pension”. Some 1.3m pensioners are entitled to draw a “basic pension”, the majority of whom (some 70 per cent) are women, who often had lower-paid jobs or worked part time because of family responsibilities.

Re 15 (d)

186.In the Federal Government’s opinion, existing statutory regulations, especially the AGG, provide sufficient effective mechanisms and opportunities for lodging an appeal in Germany (see, e.g., section 3 (4) AGG).

Re 15 (e)

187.The “Strong in the Workplace” programme, now in its second funding period (1 January 2019–30 June 2022), is being implemented in 86 organisations across Germany. It continues to contribute successfully to creating concrete job prospects for mothers with a migration background. Cooperations have been established with the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, the National Association of German Skilled Crafts and the BA. The programme was expanded to include refugee women/mothers.

188.The programme is extremely popular. Since 2015, 14,000 mothers with a migration background who would otherwise not have entered the labour market have taken part in the programme’s projects. After completing the programme, 36 per cent of these mothers (excl. refugees) moved into jobs with full social security coverage or (school-based/vocational) training. A significant share of them are key workers (in trade, retail, nursing). Two thirds of participants subsequently had better job prospects.

Re 15 (f)

189.Women with disabilities are in principle eligible to take part in all those general measures which promote employment and equal opportunities for women. They are guaranteed equal opportunities in the world of work, in particular by taking up suitable, sometimes part-time, measures close to home.

190.The available data show that unemployment is not a problem specific to severely disabled women and that the job opportunities specifically of people with disabilities have continued to improve in recent years. Targeted measures to create additional employment opportunities are thus not deemed to be necessary.

191.In 2018, more than 1.2m severely disabled people had jobs with full social security coverage (54 per cent men, 46 per cent women) – more than ever before. The share of severely disabled women is equal to the overall share of women in jobs with full social security coverage. In a long-term comparison, more severely disabled women than severely disabled men have started a new job with full social security coverage (increase of severely disabled women in employment of some 142,000 between 2008 and 2018 (+40 per cent) compared to an increase of some 112,000 (+23 per cent) in severely disabled men in employment).

192.In parallel, the average annual number of unemployed severely disabled people has continued to drop since 2014, and stood at 154,696 in 2019. That represents a drop of 9.27 per cent compared to 2016 (–9.33 per cent for men; –9.18 per cent for women). Severely disabled women have for years accounted for some 40 per cent of all unemployed severely disabled persons, that is below the share of unemployed women overall (almost 45 per cent).

Re 15 (g)

193.The priority and still the most effective approach to incentivising and thus improving the level of participation in employment (especially of second earners), and to reducing the gender pay gap is to improve the general conditions for reconciling family and job, based on partnership between women and men.

194.In the 2017–2021 legislative period it was especially low and middle-income earners – mainly women and second earners – who benefitted from tax breaks. The Federal Government reduced social security contributions for low-income earners, for instance, resumed the payment of equal statutory health insurance contributions by employees and employers, adjusted the tax-free allowance, eliminated what is known as “cold progression”, and increased family benefits. The “solidarity surcharge” was abolished for lower and middle earners at the start of 2021.

195.As regards possible combinations of income tax classes for spouses/life partners, the option of applying the so-called factor procedure (tax class IV/IV with factor), for example, more precisely distributes the income tax burden across both earners.

196.The following changes were made recently:

(a)As of 2019 the factor procedure can, upon application, not only be applied for one but for two years;

(b)As of 2018 the combination “tax class IV/IV” has become the norm following marriage/registered life partnership, and the switch from “III/V” to “IV/IV” can be made upon application by only one spouse/life partner;

(c)As was agreed in the Coalition Agreement, information about the factor procedure is now included in tax returns and reference is made to the option of switching to the combination “tax class IV/IV with factor”.

Re 15 (h)

197.The Federal Government and the Länder regard early childhood educational and participatory opportunities, the further expansion of and improvements to the quality of childcare in Germany as high-priority matters. As at 1 March 2020 there were 829,163 children under the age of three attending child day care facilities. That is almost 11,000 more than in 2019. The care rate for this age group rose in the reporting period after 2017 from 33 per cent to 35 per cent.

198.In 2020, just under 2.6m children between age three and school entry age were in childcare. That is approx. 76,000 more than in 2019, the largest rise since the start of monitoring in 2006. In 2020 the care rate was around 93 per cent, thus remaining at a high level throughout the reporting period. The ratios of staff to children have also continued to improve in recent years.

199.Under the Good Daycare Facilities Act, the Federal Government has allocated some €5.5bn to the Länder for the period 2019–2022. The objective is to implement Länder-specific measures which address the individual needs of the Länder in order to improve both the quality of early childhood education and childcare across Germany and participatory opportunities. The Länder can allocate the additional funding to measures in 10 qualitative action areas and/or to measures which lessen the financial burden on families on account of a fee cut. The qualitative areas cover various aspects relating to the quality of childcare facilities, ranging from ensuring needs-based provision to improving the ratio of qualified staff to children, to hiring and retaining qualified staff, to improving the quality of family daycare.

200.Moreover, various federal programmes funded by the BMFSFJ, including the “Skilled Early Childhood Educators Campaign”, “Language Daycare Centres” and the “Facilitating Access to Child Daycare: Building Bridges to Early Childhood Education”, are helping to improve the quality of child daycare. They run until 2022.

201.The gradual expansion of all-day care for primary school pupils also continued in the reporting period. In the Coalition Agreement the Federal Government pledged to provide funding to boost investment in expanding all-day primary schools (which fall under the responsibility of the Länder) and, further, to create an entitlement to all-day care for all primary school-aged children by 2026. In 2019, 74 per cent of parents of primary school children reported that they needed after-school care for their children; 64 per cent of parents needed all-day supervision. That is why the Federal Government is making up to €3.5bn available for investments by the Länder and municipalities to expand all-day primary schools and after-school care. That sum includes up to €1.5bn in the Coronavirus Economic and Crisis Management Package.

202.The Act on the Establishment of the Special Fund “Expansion of All-Day Education and Childcare for Primary-School Children”, which entered into force in December 2020, established a special fund to provide financial assistance to the Länder under Article 104c GG. The Federal Government passed a bill on 5 May 2021 to introduce a legal entitlement to all-day care at primary school level.

203.For data on the situation in the Länder as regards childcare, see Annex I.

Re 15 (i)

204.Germany welcomes the objectives of ILO Convention No. 156. The relevant regulations in the GG, labour and social legislation, and in Germany’s family and educational policies already meet the requirements of the Convention. Nevertheless, in view of the content of Article 8, Germany has not yet ratified Convention No. 156. Under that provision, family responsibilities may not, as such, constitute a valid reason for dismissal. Discriminatory dismissals are permissible neither within nor outside the scope of the KSchG. However, no such positive, general and absolute ban as set out in Article 8 of the Convention is yet in place in Germany, nor is one planned. Germany thus currently has no plans to ratify the Convention.

205.As regards the last question concerning legal steps available to complainants following a violation of women’s rights in supply chains, see re para. 5.

Re para. 16: Health

Re 16 (a)

206.Contraceptives are in principle available across the whole of Germany at generally affordable prices. Under section 24a (2) SGB V, any insured person is entitled to free prescription contraceptives up to the age of 22. The age limit was increased from 20 to 22 in the reporting period.

207.Many German municipalities and the city-states of Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg have different and non-harmonised cost coverage schemes (available upon application) for prescription contraceptives for certain groups, for instance women receiving “Unemployment Benefit II” (social benefit under SGB II, “Hartz 4”), basic social benefits/ assistance benefits under SGB XII, benefits paid under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act, the Students’ Assistance Act, housing benefit, child supplement or vocational training grant.

208.After the 2017 “biko –Contraceptive Advice, Information and Cost Coverage for Contraceptives” model project ended in September 2019, the Federal Government launched discussions on this issue with all the relevant federal ministries (BMFSFJ, BMAS, BMG). They cover various possible solutions under federal legislation based on the project results.

Re 16 (b)

209.In the Federal Government’s opinion, amending section 87 AufenthG would restrict criminal prosecution and render meaningless the criminal offence of staying in the federal territory without the required permit. No prospect can thus be offered of any amendment to or repeal of the provision.

210.As regards the Committee’s questions in connection with abortion and cost coverage, the following is reiterated following the explanations in the 2019 Follow‑Up Report (CEDAW/C/DEU/CO/7-8/Add.1): Counselling in accordance with section 219 (1) sentence 1 StGB is the precondition for an abortion to be legally exempted from punishment (section 218a StGB). In line with constitutional requirements, this counselling must be conducted without a preconceived outcome and serves to protect the unborn life. It is guided by efforts to ensure that women can take a conscientious and responsible decision. The rule thus does not limit their autonomy.

211.The cost coverage procedure in regard to abortions is carried out by health insurance funds as set out in section 21 (1) Act on Pregnancies in Conflict Situations (SchKG). Women who abort a pregnancy following the counselling are required to pay for the procedure themselves, unless their income falls below a certain threshold (see further details in CEDAW/C/DEU/CO/7-8/Add.1).

212.Under section 13 (2) SchKG, the Länder are required to ensure there is an adequate number of outpatient and inpatient facilities which carry out abortions. As part of a revision of section 219a StGB, the German Medical Association was assigned the task (under section 13 (3) SchKG) of keeping a list of those doctors, hospitals and facilities carrying out abortions under the conditions of section 218a (1)–(3) StGB. It includes information about which methods those listed use to carry out abortions. The list is updated monthly and is available online. The Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA), the Federal Office for Families and Civil Society Tasks and the Länder also have access to this centralised list.

213.Section 219a (1) StGB does not make the provision of information about abortions a punishable offence. Further, doctors, hospitals and facilities carrying out abortions are able to provide women with unrestricted information when advising them about their services and the means of and procedures for carrying out an abortion. The criminal offence only covers those cases in which these services, the means, objects or procedures are offered or extolled in public, in a meeting or by disseminating written material if this is done in a grossly offensive manner (trivialising/glamourising) or for a pecuniary advantage (to increase a magazine’s circulation, against commission or payment of a doctor’s fee). Adding subsection (4) to section 219a StGB in 2019 further restricted the criminal liability of doctors, hospitals and facilities carrying out abortions. They are now also permitted to publicise – for instance online – the fact that they carry out abortions and they can refer to further information. The criminal provision is, in fact, directed against the trivialising and commercialisation of abortion. The aim in limiting advertising possibilities is to guarantee that pregnant women receive objective and comprehensive information about available options and the abortion procedure independent of any third-party interests.

Measures to combat nicotine addiction

214.Currently, 27 per cent of male and 20.8 per cent of female adults (age 18–64) in Germany smoke. When it comes to adolescents (age 12–17), 6.5 per cent of boys and 6.6 per cent of girls smoke; 26.3 per cent of young male adults and 23 per cent of young female adults smoke. Overall, children and adolescents are regarded as an important target group of anti-smoking campaigns. The BZgA’s numerous brochures and online offers are specifically aimed at young female adolescents and women, including in regard to the following topics:

•Smoking–Special risks for women, see https://www.rauchfrei-info.de/informieren/rauchen-gesundheit/besondere-risiken-frauen/;

•Smoking and the pill, see https://www.rauch-frei.info/informier-dich/fragen-und-antworten/details/thema-pille-und-rauchen.html.

215.Gender-relevant issues are addressed in news items or tools such as “Your Body Smokes Passively (Sex Organs)”.

216.Given that smoking can have a negative impact on women’s and girls’ fertility and carries an increased risk of complications during pregnancy, another focus is pregnancy and breastfeeding (see https://www.rauchfrei-info.de/informieren/rauchen-gesundheit/schwangerschaft/).

Re obstetric violence

217.The StGB does not contain the criminal offence of “obstetric violence”. Violence against pregnant women – as against anyone else – can be punished as “bodily harm” (section 223ff. StGB). Outside of the scope of the StGB, victims may be entitled to civil-law damages and compensation claims. The Federal Government has no reliable statistics about how many pregnant women suffer this kind of violence. There are plans to launch a study into this issue in 2021.

Re para. 17: Economic empowerment of women

218.According to data from the micro census, the at-risk-of-poverty rate was slightly higher among women (16.6 per cent) than among men (15.2 per cent) in Germany in 2019.

219.The Federal Government recognises that gender-specific measures for women are needed when it comes to combating poverty and social exclusion and their causes. Attention must, specifically, be paid to the fact that women are much more likely to become single parents following a separation, and that women’s decision-making and biographies in regard to education and employment are still all too frequently based on traditional gender roles. That is why maintenance advances for single parents were further expanded and increased in the reporting period.

220.An active labour market policy includes measures aimed at reducing the disadvantages resulting from decisions concerning education and employment made earlier in life. They include, for instance, the possibility of doing vocational training at a later stage in life.

221.In order to be able to improve on women’s social benefits on the basis of facts, the Federal Government’s Sixth Report on Poverty and Wealth, approved by the Cabinet in May 2021, includes relevant information, for example on women’s material situation compared to men’s and how girls’ and women’s educational and job opportunities have evolved.

Re para. 18: Rural women

Re 18 (a)

222.Destatis statistics do not indicate that rural regions have a higher gender pay gap than more densely populated regions. In fact, the gap is lower in rural regions: in 2018 the difference between women’s and men’s gross hourly earnings was 20 per cent overall; in rural regions it was 19 per cent, in regions with concentrations of population 22 per cent and in urban regions 23 per cent.

223.The Federal Government has no insights into the reasons for these differences in the gender pay gap across different types of regions. It is to be presumed that, regardless of region, the same factors are responsible for the gap (see re para. 15 (a)). Accordingly, the holistic approach referred to in the response to para. 15 (a) can also be applied to rural regions.

224.For examples of what the Länder are doing in this regard, see Annex II.

225.Reference is also made, as an example, to the Wage Atlas drawn up by Hesse. The Atlas is the product of a detailed analysis of each county borough and county in the region. Additional workshops were held with local women’s and gender equality offices/officers in all the counties and county boroughs in Hesse so as to analyse regional data, and suggestions were made for improvements at local level.

226.As part of a project (2017–2018) run by the German Association of Rural Women, the BMFSFJ sponsored training for regional equal pay advisers who now provide sustainable support to employers, municipal institutions and women in rural regions when it comes to enforcing equal pay. The BMFSFJ also supports the Association’s “Self-made Women – A Project to Empower Rural Female Founders” project (2019–2021).

Re 18 (b)

227.De jure, Germany’s or the EU’s agricultural policy is gender neutral when it comes to funding or credit matters. However, regardless of gender, starting a business is not easy in the agricultural sector, as access to land is limited and without any assets there are hardly any securities/sureties to cover loans.

228.That is why Germany applies various measures to promote and provide access to land, such as targeted investment promotion as part of an agricultural investment support programme or financial support through a young farmers’ premium – which is also available to (male and female) career changers and start-ups. A diverse range of advisory services is also available.

229.In Germany, too, farms tend to be bequeathed to sons rather than to daughters, even if they have the same qualifications (Brandth 2002; Fabian 2018), which is why women are, however, indeed at a disadvantage as regards access to own land. According to estimates based on the Agricultural Structure Survey, there were 235,000 men but only 26,000 women in charge of agricultural enterprises in 2018.

230.The Federal Government is aware of the challenges and potential disadvantages faced by women and it has therefore turned the spotlight on rural women in a study of rural women (2019– August 2022), which is the first to conduct a comprehensive, Germany-wide analysis of the situation of women in agricultural enterprises. It aims to provide a sound analysis of the living conditions and prospects of women in agriculture and to thus create a scientific basis on which to be able to support and promote women and to open up more prospects to them.

231.The Länder have a number of funding programmes and projects which aim to improve both rural women’s and men’s income and employment opportunities. Brandenburg, for instance, is using the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to support several projects in the period 2014–2020 to safeguard and open up employment and income opportunities in rural regions. As part of diversifying rural livelihoods in the context of the ongoing structural shift in the agricultural sector, rural tourism, manufacturing industry, crafts and services are proving to be the rural population’s main source of work and income. More women than men tend to work in these sectors, which is why women can benefit from tapping into new income sources, for example by putting existing buildings to new commercial uses.

Re 18 (c)

232.With reference to the explanations provided in the last report as well as to the response to para. 15 (h), Germany reiterates that high-quality needs-based early childhood education and childcare provision are key concerns of both the Federal Government and the Länder.

233.The Federal Government has contributed €3.28bn in the period since 2008 to increasing the number of childcare places for the under threes, for whom more than 560,000 places have been created over the past decade. Under the Fourth Investment Programme (2017–2020), another €1.126bn in federal funding is to be used to create a further 100,000 places for children under school age. Additionally, the Fifth Investment Programme was created as part of the Coronavirus Economic Stimulus Package and allocated €1bn in funding in 2020 and 2021. This money will be used to create 90,000 new child daycare places. The funding can, though, also be invested in renovation work or new hygiene concepts and room designs which are necessary owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

234.Both supply and demand in Germany still vary considerably across different regions, although the infrastructure is not on principle weaker in rural than in urban regions. It must, however, be said that the care rate is still significantly higher in the eastern than in the western Länder.

235.An overview of the care rate, for instance for the under threes by county and Länder, is available in the form of interactive maps on the Destatis website (e.g. at https://www.destatis.de/EN/Service/Statistics-Visualised/_node.html). For further information, see also Annex I.

Re 18 (d)

236.As regards increasing labour market and training opportunities, especially in rural regions, see re paras. 15 (b), 18 (b).

Re 18 (e)

237.Based on the law of benefits and contracts under SGB XI, Germany’s long-term care insurance scheme ensures a dense network of some 14,700 outpatient care services and some 15,400 residential long-term care facilities (as at 2019). Those in need of long-term care in rural regions also have an adequate choice of options to suit their individual needs as sufficient outpatient care services are available in these regions as well. Besides, there is a greater willingness among informal caregivers to take on care duties in rural regions than in cities. The long-term care insurance scheme prioritises care in the home and provides benefits to support family caregivers, this helps to stabilize the level of care provision in rural regions. The unbureaucratic travel expenses allowance which was introduced under the Care Staff Strengthening Act also serves this purpose, as it appropriately remunerates outpatient care services and their staff, who have to travel longer distances in rural regions. Promoting digitalisation in long-term care and strengthening cooperation between doctors’ practices and inpatient long-term care facilities to support consultation hours and medical case conferences via video as telemedical services are particularly important in rural regions.

238.Since 2019, outpatient care services have also been regularly approved to provide benefits in kind in outpatient long-term care services, thus increasing the range of long-term care services and assistance with housekeeping at home.

239.As part of the aforementioned KAP initiative, a study was commissioned in November 2020 to identify innovative approaches to community care which can improve long-term care, provide better support to informal caregivers, and optimise both staff deployment and the work organisation of the providers of outpatient care services. The aim is to enhance needs-based nursing care and care structures close to home, including to ensure care provision in rural regions.

240.The “Local Alliances for People with Dementia” federal programme has promoted 500 “local alliances” across Germany since 2012. The network has been gradually expanded since October 2020. Funding currently focuses on regions which have previously received no support and in which there have so far been fewer means of caring for and supporting people with dementia and their relatives. The majority of these are rural regions.

241.The Länder also have various measures for supporting nursing care provision in rural regions. For examples from Hesse and Saxony, see Annex II.

Re para. 19: Disadvantaged groups of women – migrant women

242.In recent years both the Federal Government and the Länder have continued to variously promote low-threshold measures for the labour market and social empowerment and integration of women and girls with a migration background. The focus has been on improving their opportunities for participation and on realising their own potential.

243.The Umbrella Federation of Organisations for Migrant Women (DaMiGra e.V.) was founded in September 2014 with support from the BMFSFJ and BAMF. It is the only organisation to represent women migrants in Germany regardless of background, party affiliation and religion. The federation regards itself as the mouthpiece and representative of more than 70 women migrants’ organisations which advocates their interests in the political and public realm, in the media and trade and industry.

244.DaMiGra’s three-year “Women* Migrants and Refugees Between Multiple Discrimination and the Right to Self-determination #selbstbestimmt!” project, also co-funded by the BMFSFJ and BAMF, was launched in October 2019. It aims to also address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women migrants and refugees.

245.Another example of the Federal Government’s commitment in this area is the “Women Refugee Start-ups – Tapping into Women Refugees’ Entrepreneurial Potential” project (2017–2019), which is funded by the BMFSFJ and run by jump  e.V. society. The project aimed to tap into women refugees’ entrepreneurial potential as a way into self-employment and labour-market integration. It supported women refugees in setting up a business in a three-stage process.

246.In the reporting period the BMAS is using the Federal ESF Integration Directive in the “Integration of Asylum Seekers and Refugees” (IvAF) priority area of action (1 July 2015–31 December 2021) to sustainably integrate refugees into training and work by providing comprehensive advisory services, including qualification, job placement and support after they start work or training. In this context, women-specific approaches were developed in practice and implemented across Germany to improve women refugees’ access to education, training and gainful employment. Also, intensive networking between the projects and statutory institutions served to generate ideas at structural policy level aimed at increasing this group’s opportunities for participation.

247.The IntB also supports national projects to empower women refugees and other particularly vulnerable groups. Besides providing information and psychosocial support, they also aim to boost women’s self-confidence and to support them in identifying their own skills, interests and options.

248.The aim of the “Mut-Macherinnen” (“Encouragers”) project, which is sponsored by the IntB and run by DaMiGra, is to support and empower women refugees. Women migrants are enlisted, qualified and deployed as volunteers to work with women refugees. Empowering them and teaching a gender-sensitive perspective based on women’s and human rights (incl. for refugee men) contributes to boosting their opportunities for social participation.

249.The IntB is also committed to improving women’s integration into the labour market. Since 2020 she has, together with the BA, been co-financing the “Fem.OS – Outreach Orientation and Advisory System in the Social Media for Women Migrants” project. It uses social media to reach women migrants and advise them on work and integration in their native languages.

250.The BMFSFJ’s “Live Democracy!” federal programme also supports civil-society actors in testing innovative approaches by funding model projects. Some of the model projects aim to promote the social participation of migrants, including three ongoing ones aimed explicitly at women and girls with a migration background. The three projects are being conducted under the federal programme’s current funding period (2020–2024).

Re para. 20: Transsexual and transgender women

251.The legal situation in Germany complies with international standards of non-discrimination of transsexuals. Transsexuals can change their registered gender and given name(s) without undergoing medical treatment, and then receive birth certificates, ID documents, education and training certificates, and similar documents bearing their new name and gender. Those concerned wish these processes to be simplified and alleviated. After officially changing their gender, transgender people can continue in an existing marriage or registered life partnership. The number of procedures conducted under the Transsexual Act was 2,085 in 2017, 2,614 in 2018 and 2,582 in 2019. Figures for 2020 are not yet available.

252.The Federal Government has not yet completed its political opinion-forming process as regards a possible reform of the Transsexuals Act.

253.In the course of work on the next International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), the Federal Government advocated depathologising transsexuality. Several working groups are discussing how the ICD-11 is to be applied in Germany in future. Diverse factors concerning the application of the ICD-11 to the German health system need to be considered before a final decision can be taken to adopt the new classification under the associated timetable.

254.In June 2020 the BMFSFJ established the Gender Diversity Dialogue Forum in order to expand the advisory and support landscape on intersexuality and transsexuality. In July 2020 specific information services for specialists in pedagogy, healthcare, education and administration were expanded and consolidated in the BMFSFJ’s Rainbow web portal (https://www.regenbogenportal.de). The portal provides support to transgender as well as lesbian, intersex and non-binary women.

255.To focus European gender equality policies on the concerns and interests of lesbian, transgender, intersex and non-binary women in particular, the Federal Government in November 2020 held a conference on “Intersectionality and LGBTI Policies in Europe: Lived Realities of Lesbian* Women and the Recognition of Rainbow Families” as part of its EU Presidency.

256.The second funding period of the BMFSFJ’s “Live Democracy!” federal programme began in 2020. It likewise focuses on sponsoring projects working to combat homophobia and transphobia at local, regional and national level. Also, from 2020 funding will be provided to a competence network consisting of civil-society actors involved in preventive-pedagogical work to combat homophobia and transphobia. The network is tasked with, for instance, pooling information available across Germany, providing specialist advice and guaranteeing the transfer of successful preventive approaches into federal, state and local structures.

257.The Act to Protect against Conversion Therapies entered into force on 24 June 2020. Under that Act, treating minors and adults who have not effectively consented in an attempt to change or suppress their sexual orientation or self-identified gender identity is a punishable offence. Further, the Act prohibits the advertising, provision and referral of conversion therapies. Administrative fines can be imposed in the event of a violation. The Act also protects transgender women from having to undergo conversion therapies.

258.Training and continuing training measures in the Federal Police are guided by the goal that the officers treat all people equally and that, as police officers, they serve the common good. The Federal Police guarantee respect for a person’s sexual sphere as part of their private sphere. That entails the obligation to respect each individual’s personal decision as regards their gender identity.

Re para. 21: Refugee and asylum-seeking women

Re 21 (a)

259.The BAMF’s specially trained and sensitised decision-makers (“specially-commissioned case-officers”) are in particular called in to deal with cases of gender-specific persecution, as well as cases involving torture victims and traumatised persons seeking protection. The number of these case-officers was increased in relation to the number of applications. As at 1 July 2020 the BAMF employed 250 specially-commissioned case-officers to deal with cases of gender-specific persecution, for instance.

Re 21 (b)

Trend in number and country of origin of asylum seekers since 2017

260.A total of 43,222 women filed a first asylum application in 2020 (2017: 78,413; 2018: 70,077; 2019: 61,977). They accounted for 42 per cent of all asylum applicants. In 2020, 60 per cent of all women who filed a first asylum application were minors, 17 per cent were age 18–30, 19 per cent age 30–50, and 4 per cent were older than 50. The main countries of origin were Syria (38 per cent of all women asylum applicants), Iraq (10 per cent), Afghanistan (9 per cent) and Turkey (4 per cent).

261.Both the provisions of the AsylG and the BAMF’s internal control measures take account of the gender- and women-specific reasons why people are forced to flee their country of origin. Under section 3b (1) no. 4 AsylG (concerning “gender-specific persecution”), persecution owing to belonging to a particular social group includes a person being persecuted solely on account of their gender or sexual identity.

262.As already detailed in Germany’s 2019 follow-up information, the BAMF applies a series of measures which provide special protection to women forced to migrate and thus guarantees that they are treated in a gender-sensitive manner throughout the asylum procedure.

263.In the reporting period the Federal Government also further expanded the protection afforded to women and children in refugee accommodation by extending a federal initiative conducted jointly by the BMFSFJ, UNICEF and other partners since 2016. The first “Minimum Standards for the Protection of Refugees and Migrants in Refugee Accommodation Centres” were published and some 100 full-time violence protection coordinators across Germany sponsored until 2018. Since 2019 the BMFSFJ has sponsored the “Decentralised Advisory and Support Structures for the Protection of Refugees in Refugee Accommodation” project, for instance, and a project to monitor and evaluate safety concepts in refugee accommodation.

264.Under sections 44 (2a), 53 (3) AsylG, which were introduced in August 2019, the Länder are required to “take adequate measures” to protect women and vulnerable groups of people in reception facilities and shared accommodation.

Re para. 22: Marriage and family relations

Re 22 (a)

265.The 2017 Concluding Observations (paras. 49 (a), 50 (a)) refer to joint parental authority, joint (physical) custody and child maintenance. The ordering of joint parental authority, including after a separation or divorce (sections 1626, 1687 Civil Code), concerns the parents’ decision-making powers, not the allocation of care shares between the parents. Since it is the distribution of care shares and not of parental authority, which is decisive for child maintenance, there are no grounds for concern regarding joint parental authority.

266.Youth welfare offices support and advise parents who separate or divorce when it comes to developing consensual parental authority concepts and caring for the person of the child. For lack of any need, no measures were taken to set up a monitoring mechanism aimed at ensuring that child maintenance obligations reflect reality in regard to time and cost allocation between parents.

Re 22 (b)

267.Single mothers who rely on basic income support for job-seekers to secure their livelihood get help from their Jobcentre adviser. As part of Germany’s active labour market policy, they benefit from individual support measures under SGB II to re-enter the job market. A range of instruments take the specific situation of single mothers into account, for instance part-time training courses or help to access childcare. Under § 1 SGB III, gender equality is a basic principle governing employment promotion and basic income-support for job-seekers.

268.Officers for equal opportunities on the job-market support the respective agency heads at all institutional levels (in employment agencies, Jobcentres, regional offices and BA headquarters) in meeting gender equality targets, specifically promoting women.

269.Promoting gender equality has in recent years been a focus of the supervisory authorities responsible for basic income support for job-seekers. Brochures and manuals on gender equality and on improving advisory services for those raising children have been produced.

Re 22 (c)

270.See re paras. 15 (a), (g) as regards incentives to increase the number of mothers entering the labour market.

271.As is the case with the gender pay gap, the Federal Government is aware that closing the labour-force participation gap – specifically the gap in the volume of work between women and men, primarily mothers and fathers – requires a bundle of measures which all seek to help both mothers and fathers to enter and remain in the labour market and to engage in employment which secures their livelihood.

272.To help women (re-)enter the labour market, the BA has for some years been using the tried and tested tool of advising re-entrants following a family-related career break. The “Towards Reintegration” programme also helps women to find employment which secures their livelihood and is in line with their qualifications.

273.Women entitled to benefits under SGB II receive support with active labour market measures to re-enter the labour market in the legal system of SGB II. Depending on their specific situation, a range of special measures is available which takes account of the specific challenges of reconciling family and paid work (e.g. part-time arrangements). To support the re-entry of employable benefit recipients in the legal system of SGB II, the BA has, for instance, developed small-format illustrated children’s books to strengthen the advisory services in households with children. They are available in different languages.

274.The BA has developed a social media outreach system of advice and information to provide targeted support to migrant women from third countries. The members of the team of advisers are native speakers of 10 different languages, that is besides German: Arabic, English, French, Pashto, Persian/Dari, (Latin American, African) Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, (Latin American) Spanish and Turkish.

Re the last subquestion

275.Reference is made to the statement in the 2019 Follow-up Report as regards recommendation no. 50 (d) in the Concluding Observations of 2017.

276.Progress has been made on the reviews being conducted by the Federal Government/Länder working group regarding the fund for special hardship cases set out in the Coalition Agreement, but they have not yet been concluded. The key issue of funding still needs to be clarified, a detailed proposal elaborated and agreement reached among all the involved decision-makers.

Re para. 23: Additional information

277.Further gender-relevant measures were rolled out at national and international policy levels in the reporting period. Examples are outlined in brief in the following.

Initiatives g at international level

278.Gender equality issues formed one of the focuses of Germany’s G20 Presidency in 2017, and the Federal Government supported the Women20 civil-society outreach process (e.g. by holding a W20 summit in Berlin). Several initiatives were adopted at the G20 Summit in Hamburg to promote women’s economic empowerment in particular (e.g. a fund to promote women entrepreneurs in developing countries (We‑Fi), see re para. 7), to bridge the digital gender divide and build girls’ digital skills (#ESkills4Girls). Gender equality continues to be an important issue on the agenda of the G7 and G20 which the Federal Government actively supports.

279.At the start of UN Women’s new international Generation Equality Forum (GEF), the Federal Government in 2020 assumed the co-chair of the Action Coalition on economic justice and rights, one of the six new international alliances. In 2021 it also joined the Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action Compact as a “Catalytic Member” and is now actively involved.

280.Gender equality policy was an important focus of several ministerial meetings and decisions during Germany’s EU Presidency in the second half of 2020. For example, on the BMFSFJ’s initiative the sharing of best practices on protecting women against violence was stepped up at an informal virtual conference of Gender Equality Ministers in November 2020 and, based on Germany’s initiative, 22 ministers were in favour of setting up a single EU-wide number at which national violence-against--women helplines can be reached.

281.Council Conclusions on eliminating the gender pay gap were also adopted during Germany’s EU Presidency (December 2020). They contain policy recommendations for the equal distribution among women and men of gainful employment and unpaid care work.

282.Under the BKM’s lead, gender equality issues in the field of culture were discussed in the EU Council’s Cultural Affairs Committee. The results were presented in the virtual Council Meeting of European Ministers for Culture and published as Presidency Conclusions.

283.The Federal Government supported the European Commission in adopting its Gender Action Plan III. To better protect women against violence in crisis situations, the Federal Government will continue to advocate the EU and all the member states ratifying the Istanbul Convention. During Germany’s Presidency of the Council of Europe in 2021 emphasis is being put on advocating for an EU-wide expansion of and access to protection and advisory services.

284.The Third NAP on the Agenda “Women, Peace and Security” (adopted February 2021) sets out the Federal Government’s future strategy for the period 2021–2024. Progress made on implementing the Second NAP on Women, Peace and Security (2017–2020) is outlined by the Federal Government in a separate report.

Domestic Initiatives

285.The Federal Operational Programme for the ESF (2014–2020) pursues a double strategy as regards the integration of the cross-cutting issue of gender equality, i.e. a combination of specific measures to promote women and an integrated approach to equality. This two-pronged approach is underpinned by gender budgeting and reporting procedures.

286.The Agency for Cross-Cutting Targets in the ESF commissioned by the BMAS has since 2015 also continuously advised and supported the federal ministries and the agencies implementing the federal ESF programme, and is passing on relevant know-how to ensure that the cross-cutting target of gender equality is sustainably incorporated into all the planning, implementation and evaluation phases of federal measures.

287.Child supplement for families on low incomes was reformed in 2019 under the “Strong Families Act”. It now amounts to a maximum of €205 per month and child. More single mothers now benefit from the supplement because only 45 per cent – and not, as previously, 100 per cent – of child maintenance advances are now deducted.

288.The Digital German Women’s Archive (DDF) was launched in September 2018. It provides users with information on the history of the women’s movement by way of a specialist web portal which has numerous digitised versions of valuable original documents such as letters, photos and audio recordings. Since January 2020 the DDF has received €1.85m in institutional funding from the BMFSFJ. The DDF is run by i.d.a., the umbrella organisation of women’s archives. i.d.a. facilities receive funding through the DDF project fund so that they can digitise analogue holdings for inclusion in the DDF. The DDF’s office in Berlin is responsible for the portal’s technical and scientific implementation.

289.Under the BMFSFJ’s “Live Democracy!” federal programme, the “Anti‑discrimination and Shaping Diversity” Competence Network has received funding since 2020 to develop and establish a digital documentation system. The network also regards anti-discrimination and gender-related equality data as a steering tool to ensure that public and private facilities apply the principle of diversity. There are plans to draw up a report on needs and experience.

290.Regarding the last question on incorporating the gender perspective as Germany implements the UN’s SDGs, reference is made to Germany’s Sustainable Development Strategy. It provides the framework for implementing the 2030 Agenda in Germany. The Strategy is regularly updated. The most recent updated version was adopted by the Federal Cabinet in March 2021. The Federal Government takes account of gender aspects as a cross-cutting issue as part of its gender mainstreaming approach. The Strategy now contains the following indicators for SDG 5: No. 5.1.a “Pay Gap Between Men and Women”, No. 5.1.b “Women in Leadership in Trade and Industry” and the new indicators No. 5.1.c “Women in Leadership Positions in the Federal Public Sector”, 5.1.d “Fathers and Parental Allowance” and 5.1.e “Vocational Qualification of Women and Girls through Germany’s Development Policy Cooperation”. The next update is scheduled for the next legislative period.

291.Monitoring and reporting are important elements when it comes to updating the Strategy. Every two years Destatis publishes a status implementation report based on the indicators on behalf of the Federal Government.

292.In its Agenda 2030 – Sustainable Family Policy Report (2019) the BMFSFJ for the first time set concrete, long-term and verifiable sustainability goals for family policy up to 2030, which are also relevant to gender equality policy. They are based on the will to in future systematically improve opportunities for mothers, fathers and children. The Agenda defines 13 targets in the three overarching objectives of “compatibility of family life and paid work”, “the spirit of partnership in families”, and “economic stability”.



General Act on Equal Treatment


artificial intelligence


Asylum Act


Arms Trade Treaty


Residence Act


Federal Employment Agency


Federal Education Assistance Act


Federal Office for Migration and Refugees




Vocational Training Act




National Agency for Women’s Start-up Activities and Services


Federal Criminal Police Office


Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media


Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs


Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth


Federal Ministry of Health


Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community


Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection


Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy


Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development




Federal States Council


National Parliament of Germany






Federal Centre for Health Education


Digital German Women’s Archive




Confederation of German Trade Unions


German Institute for Human Rights


German Centre of Gerontology


European Communities


European Court of Justice




for example


European Social Fund


European Union


European Statistical Office


registered society


and following


Female Genital Mutilation


Act on the Equal Participation of Women and Men in Executive Positions in the Private and Public Sector


Group of Seven


Group of Twenty


gender-based violence


German Democratic Republic


Standing Conference of Equality and Women’s Affairs Ministers and Senators


Basic Law


Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings


Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence








human resources




Crafts Code


International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems


International Labour Organization


Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration


International Standard Classification of Education


International Standard Classification of Occupations


information technology


Standing Conference of German Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs


Act on the Protection against Unfair Dismissal


Federal State/s


lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual and intersex


List of Issues and Questions Prior to Reporting




Mathematics, Information Technology, Natural Sciences and Technology


Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania


not available


National Action Plan


not specified


National Contact Point for Responsible Business Conduct


Lower Saxony


North Rhine-Westphalia


Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development




Pro Quote Film e.V.


Pro Quote Medien e.V.


Prostitutes Protection Act




Act on Pregnancies in Conflict Situations


Sustainable Development Goal


Social Code






small and medium-sized enterprises






Criminal Code




trafficking in human beings


United Nations Economic Commission for Europe


United Nations Population Fund


United Nations Children’s Fund


United Nations Security Council Resolution


Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative