Magdeburg (dpa/sa) - Local elections are due in Saxony-Anhalt next year and Equal Opportunities Minister Petra Grimm-Benne (SPD) would like to see more women in local parliaments. "We have enough impressive, talented, charismatic and courageous women in our country. All too often they are still missing in the crucial places," said the minister on International Women's Day on Wednesday. The proportion of female elected representatives in municipal representation is just under 20 percent: 146 out of 720. Only 20 of the 218 mayoral posts currently recorded are held by women.
Women could therefore have much less influence on decision-making processes than men. "Women should be the rule, not the exception," Grimm-Benne continued. In order to encourage women to become more involved in local politics, for example, council meetings need to be designed in a more family-friendly way or new digital formats are needed.
Saxony-Anhalt's Equal Opportunities Officer Sarah Schulze emphasized that old role models and expectations also made it difficult for women to get involved. Unfortunately, sexist behavior is still present in the councils. In addition, politically active women are increasingly experiencing hatred and violence on social media. "Therefore, a change in political culture is needed, which local politicians are also actively supporting."