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International Women's Day

This Wednesday, March 8th, is International Women's Day. In the federal states of Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Internationaler Frauentag has been an official holiday since 2019, meaning that offices, stores, and schools are all closed. However, the holiday has existed since the early 20th century as part of the women's rights movement.


The word for gender in German is das Geschlecht, so "gender equality" in German is die Gleichstellung der Geschlechter (note the genitive construction!). 


Ein Zeichen dafür, dass Frauen in Deutschland

A sign that women in Germany,

trotz der rechtlichen Gleichstellung

despite legal equality,

noch immer in bestimmten Aspekten des Lebens benachteiligt werden.

are still disadvantaged in certain aspects of life.

Captions 26-28, Gleichberechtigung - Internationaler Frauentag am 8. März

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What does gender equality look like? Getting the right to vote, which women have had in Germany since 1919, was certainly a watershed moment.


Was regelt das Wahlrecht in Deutschland?

What does the right to vote control in Germany?

Caption 29, Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Einbürgerungstest

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However, today's work is focused on women around the world being free from violence, oppression, and discrimination. In Germany, there are also questions of political representation and equal pay. 


Wir wollen eine Gleichberechtigung, keine Diskriminierung.

We want equality, not discrimination.

Caption 39, Integration von Nationalitäten - Hessen miteinander

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Here, there's still room for improvement in German politics and offices. However, there are some structures that support women in their work and family life. The noun die Elternzeit is used to describe time taken off by any parent of a new baby.


Da kannst du nur hoffen, dass dein Mann Elternzeit nimmt.

Then you can only hope that your husband takes parental leave.

Caption 48, Großstadtrevier - Nicht mit mir

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Of course, some older traditions still carry forward a slightly misogynistic viewpoint, as beautiful as the costumes may be:


Sind die Bollen rot, bedeutet das, dass die Frau unverheiratet ist.

If the balls are red, it means that the woman is unmarried.

Schwarze Kugeln sind das Zeichen für eine verheiratete Frau.

Black balls are the symbol for a married woman.

Captions 7-8, Cettina erklärt - Sitten und Bräuche

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Further Learning
Be sure to watch Cettina's video about Internationaler Frauentag on Yabla German!

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