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German law quotas for women to reach an end

Feb 24 2015 15:30

Berlin -  A controversial German law that will set quotas for female representation on the boards of large companies and that has been years in development finally reaches the home stretch this week.

Experts are due to give statements before a hearing of the women and justice committee on Monday.

Despite ongoing differences of opinion about details, the coalition government plans to present the draft law to parliament in March.

If the law is passed, from 2016, stock market-listed companies with board representation for employees will have to ensure that at least 30% of board members are women.

A total of 3 500 listed companies or those with employee representation on their boards must already set binding targets for increasing the number or women in management positions.

Critics from parties such as the Greens and the hard-left Die Linke complain that the quotas are only for corporate boards and not for the managing committees that run businesses from day to day.

There are also objections that the quota will not apply to federally owned companies and the civil service, including federal ministries.

The chair of the parliamentary justice committee, Renate Kuenast of the Greens, told dpa on Sunday that she was nonetheless happy that the quota law would be introduced.

"It has something historical about it," she said. "For four years many women have fought for this law in parliament, and now we will hopefully soon have our foot in the door."

germany  |  world economy  |  gender equality
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