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Focus on Women

March 8, 2006

Despite the recent election of Angela Merkel as Germany's first female chancellor, women in Europe's largest economy are still struggling to penetrate the highest echelons of the business world.


The world marks International Women's Day on March 8. Amid the usual rhetoric of gender equality and equality of opportunity, a new UN report prepared by Secretary General Kofi Annan shows that while women have made steady gains in participation in parliaments, business management, media and the academic world, the pace is still too slow, even in wealthy countries.

In Germany, the swearing in of Angela Merkel, the country's first female chancellor, marked a triumph for women's rights. But even in the European Union's largest economy, the fairer sex has failed to replicate that success in the business world -- the boardroom still remains a boys' club. Worse, the wage gap between men and women has increased.

DW-WORLD has compiled a dossier on the issues hindering the progress of women in Germany.

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