Equality and difference: political debates on gender equality in West Germany, 1949-1958 Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Ruble, Alexandria
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • Gleichberechtigung, or the equality of men and women, became a controversial issue in the public political debates of post-war West Germany. This discussion already had started before the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in May 1949 with the conflict over Article 3 in the Basic Law, the provisional constitution of the FRG that stated men and women are equal and demanded the implementation of this principle in all legislation. In the context of the Cold War, the confrontation with East Germany, and the needs of the political, economic, and social reconstruction of the FRG following World War II, this debate gained increasing importance during the 1950s and resulted in the passing of the Gleichberechtigungsgesetz (Equal Rights Act) in June 1957, which came into effect in July 1958. The aim of the MA thesis is to analyze the political debate over the equality of men and women in the two major parties - the ruling Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the oppositional Social Democratic Party (SPD) and their women's organizations - and in the Bundestag, the West German parliament. I will interpret it as a conflict over highly gendered definitions of social, political, and civil citizenship rights.
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  • In Copyright
  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in the Department of History.
  • Hagemann, Karen
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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