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Women in the GDR : As socialism, the emancipation drive forward

This year, the International women's day is on 8. Celebrated in March, for the first time in the whole of Berlin as a holiday. There is hardly a topic that bet

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Women in the GDR : As socialism, the emancipation drive forward

This year, the International women's day is on 8. Celebrated in March, for the first time in the whole of Berlin as a holiday. There is hardly a topic that between the East and the West is so fiercely fought, as on the so-called "woman question" in the GDR. I've experienced in 17 years as a Professor at the University of applied Sciences Erfurt. An example of the dispute in the Department of social beings with a loud professors from the West. One of the professors of the first hour, taught all that as emancipated only someone could apply, or which began with all of the names of Persons always the female Form, so the doctor and the Doctor. Thus, the East German women from the circle of the Emancipated were excluded, because they used mostly for himself exclusively the male Form of the function name.

Many feminists contested in the West at the time, and the best riding today that there had been in the GDR, a woman's emancipation. The women had been for economic reasons, because of the lack of labor in the production process driven, and would not have emancipated themselves, but in a Patriarchal world of men subjected to. These reserved furthermore, all of the top positions for themselves. To practice instead of real emancipation of men, whether they have been actually a excruciating triple burden of professional work, domestic work and care work in the economy of scarcity subject.

whence comes this antipathy between East and West in this issue? I think it might be a in the West a widespread Fundamental misunderstanding about the role of the state and the SED in the GDR. The West German criticism of my interior, the state of the GDR was shaped by the selfish opportunistic and corrupt party power elite and the GDR leadership, in particular, Act on lower motives, such as power and advantage.

women remained in the GDR anywhere involved

How it really was, in one of the most beautiful GDR-jokes to the fore: "question: What is the difference between capitalism and socialism? Answer: capitalism lives off of income and expenditure, of the socialism of the entries and exceptions.“ A state of understanding to the fore, familiar with laws and courts, the leadership of the SED with the right to have exceptions, but these. The song of the party formulated the claim to truth in all clarity: "The party, the party is always right!"

The GDR was established with the pursuit of the realization of communism in the "woman question," clearly a truth. Marx and Engels had moved with their desire to make Hegel on the feet, the alienated labour to the centre of their criticism. For communism, Marx declares the no-longer-alienated work for the "first need". So the critique of the Gotha programme", the main Text is in his text," on the design of the communism, the sermon on the mount of Marxism, so to speak.

Therefore, the SED had to seek in the 'woman question' in particular, the equality of man and woman in the out-of-home productive work. As that is done, describes from a GDR point of view, very detailed and well evidenced by the many years a Professor of family law in the GDR, Anita Grandke, in her book, "The development of family law in the GDR". There it is shown how, from the beginning to the equality and independence of women through participation not only in production, but on the whole public life has been pushed. She writes: "Typical of the East, a strong participation of women in essential social processes." The women were not as in the West from the war on returning men to their positions. They remained everywhere involved.

equal pay for Equal work

the Decisive factor is the wage policy, however, was. In the West of the men's wage was traditionally the family wage. Women were allowed to earn up to 1977 only with the consent of the husband a source of extra income. In the GDR, was working from the beginning to the fact that the family income was the sum of about same men and Frauenlohns. Thus, already in 1946, was established on the orders of the Soviet military administration for the women, equal pay for equal work. And in the Soviet Union, but to Weimar-oriented Constitution of 1949, article 30,2: "the laws and regulations that affect the equality of man and woman in the family, are repealed."

in 1965, finally, the GDR broke with the family law provisions of the in the West still valid civil code and family code adopted book, which abolished, for example, the category of illegitimate birth, and then introduce that as a family name is the name of the man or the woman can be used. The expressed notion of the ideal family is focused on Commonality and equality. It also includes the free decision of one spouse to make the contribution to the family "it is only through working in the household and the care of the children".

The consequences we see today. The differences in income between a man and a woman were in the year 2014, so 24 years after reunification, in the West, more than twice as high as in the East. The latest study by the DIW to the Gender Pay Gap shows. This quantitative diagnosis you can add a more qualitative point of view, if one evaluates the latest data from the General population survey for the social Sciences the Gesis Institute in Mannheim, Germany (ALLBUS) from the point of view of the distribution of income between the sexes. There are two different worlds.

In the West, the high income men income

In the West, the wife's income are low-income, and with a large distance to the men. Only a short distance, namely, in the case of very low income, are distributed the income equally. But then, the higher the income, the size of the gap between becoming stronger. The high-income men income. The consequences of a policy from the press, which had traditionally been the men's income as family income, with the income splitting, as low as possible income of the wife is worth it, especially in this state more cemented.

In the East, the two lines run over the entire area of a lot of parallel and closer together than in the West. Although the woman's income more likely lower, and the men's incomes are also in the East, rather the higher. However, there are many Overlaps and a much greater proximity of women to men's income, especially in the case of the highest income groups.

With all the education dictatorship and Repression has made the GDR, with its commitment to the socialist doctrine in the gender equality something Real and Important, all the way to today.

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8. March women's day is now a holiday in Berlin

Robert Kiesel

Wolf Wagner is a Professor of social Sciences at the FH Erfurt.

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