After years of dodging the issue, Angela Merkel has taken a clear stance on feminism in the last moments of her tenure. During her 16 years in power, Germany’s first female chancellor has been reluctant to outright label herself a feminist. This Wednesday he did it in Düsseldorf, during a ceremony with the writer and feminist icon Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
“Essentially, (feminism) is about men and women being equal, in their participation in social life, and in all aspects of life in general. In this sense, I can say: ‘Yes, I am feminist, “said the chancellor, in one of her clearest positions in favor of feminism, after years of being ambiguous on this issue. “For me, the word ‘feminism’ is connected to a specific movement that has fought hard to put these issues on the agenda.”
Next, Merkel, 67, referred to the awkward moment she experienced at a Women20 summit event in Berlin in 2017, when she was directly asked if she considered herself a feminist. On that occasion, the chancellor avoided answering the question clearly, prompting criticism.
This Wednesday, he admitted his reluctance from the past. “At that time, I was a little more shy. Today I thought better of it. And in that sense, I can say that we should all be feminists.” His comment drew applause from the audience, as well as a joyous reaction from Adichie, author of the acclaimed essay. We should all be feminists.
Merkel’s relationship with feminism is one of the aspects that journalist Ana Carbajosa addresses in her new book Angela Merkel. Chronicle of an era (Peninsula). “She denies the label of feminist and says that there are other women who have fought for women’s rights and that, therefore, they deserve much more than her, the classic evasive merkelian in which she avoids defining herself and subscribing to any label, “said the author a few days ago, who has followed in the footsteps of the chancellor for years, in an interview with elDiario.es.
“But beyond the terminology, it is true that over the years, like so many women who have come to power, she has become aware of inequality. For example, at first she was strongly opposed to quotas, and in the end , partly at the initiative of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), they have come forward for companies. They have become more aware that there will be no equality if there are no decided and clear policies, that equality alone is not going to come ” says Carbajosa.
“Something has changed in our country”
According collects the Deutsche Welle chain, During the event, Merkel opened up about her experiences as a young person and told the public what had marked her, including studying Physics, remembering how she was part of the small percentage of women who studied a subject dominated by men. Merkel said that on many occasions she fought for access to a table to do experiments, which taught her to fight for her position, reports the German network.
The chancellor also spoke of the differences she has seen in German society in recent decades. “I must say that something has changed in our country,” he said. “20 years ago I wouldn’t have realized that there were only men at a round table. I don’t think that’s right anymore. There’s something missing.”
After 16 years at the helm of the Government, Merkel, who remains the most popular politician in the country, will leave her post after the general elections on September 26 from which her successor will emerge. The data in the latest polls are adverse for the conservative bloc, ranked second for the first time in more than 17 years, behind the SPD.
The fall in the polls has mobilized the chancellor in the final stretch of her term. Merkel has come out in recent days in defense of Armin Laschet, candidate of the conservative bloc and has gone under the attack of who has been his vice chancellor in this last legislature, the Social Democratic candidate Olaf Scholz, warning that neither the SPD nor its preferred partners, The Greens rule out being supported by the Left.
During Wednesday’s ceremony, Merkel said she is leaving office with a clear conscience. “I think I have contributed my grain of sand and whoever has not understood it now will not understand it in the next four years.” Regarding his departure, he commented that he needs room to think about his next steps. “I have chosen to do nothing for the moment and wait to see what happens. And I find that very fascinating.”