BERLIN, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The share of women occupying senior policy positions in Germany's federal government has barely improved compared to the previous legislative period, according to official figures published Monday.
Media reports cited an official response by the federal government to a parliamentary enquiry filed by the Green party. According to the document, 29 percent of federal ministers, secretaries of state and departmental directors were women in March 2018, with only a few remaining posts to be nominated.
Although marking a slight increase compared to the start of the last legislative period in August 2014 (26 percent), the figure falls far short of ambitions to ensure gender equality expressed in the grand coalition agreement signed by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU) and German Social Democrats (SPD). Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel's fourth cabinet has set itself a goal of "equal representation of men and women in the leading positions of federal governance" to be achieved by 2025 at the latest.
"If the federal government still desperately seeks to assure the public that it is making good progress (on gender equality), then this must be interpreted as a total surrender on its social policy program," Greens parliamentary secretary Britta Hasselmann said in reaction to the published figures.
Hasselmann added that the federal government was "essentially stagnant" with regards to gender equality within its own ranks, raising serious questions over Berlin's ability to serve as a role model to the wider country.
Similarly, Greens woman's policy spokesperson Ulle Schauws criticized the "nice passages on gender equality" enshrined in the coalition agreement, saying they crumbled under close scrutiny of the official data. Schauws highlighted that the situation was "even more dire" than the low average female representation percentage of 29 percent in ministries led by the CDU and CSU.
Earlier, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) sparked a heated nationwide debate in Germany after failing to nominate a single woman to his ministerial leadership team.