Aydan Özoğuz is one of the new women in positions of power among Germany’s Social Democrats. She has been deputy SPD leader since December 2011.
Aydan Özoğuz cannot be pigeonholed. She defies stereotyping and patronization. Born in 1967 to Turkish immigrants in Hamburg, she learned to assert herself, whether in primary school, struggling with the fine points of the German language, at the academic secondary school for which her teacher did not recommend her, or later at university, where she earned a master’s degree in English Studies. With her family background, Aydan Özoğuz has played a pioneering role in many positions – as she does in the SPD leadership. Family and integration policies are the key aspects of her political work. Aydan Özoğuz is a devout Muslim married to a devout Roman Catholic, and has a nine-year-old daughter. She and her family live in Hamburg.