German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer draws flak for all-male leadership team | News | DW | 28.03.2018
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German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer draws flak for all-male leadership team

Seehofer came under fire after his ministry published a picture earlier this week showing him flanked by eight men. This is not the first time the conservative is being criticized for his preference for working with men.

A photo meant to introduce the newly appointed leadership team at Germany's Interior Ministry ended up kicking off a storm when the public saw there was not a single woman in the Interior Ministry's top ranks.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has been criticized for picking only men to lead the ministry, with many questioning how he plans to promote social cohesion — one of his stated priorities — without any women among his top team.

The Ministry has removed the photo from its website and said not all the officials had received their final approvals for the deputy minister positions.

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Ministry rejects criticism

Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Dimroth dismissed suggestions of sexism.

"The minister chose those people who in his view were the right ones to tackle the big challenges before us," he told reporters on Wednesday.

Dimroth denied that the photo was taken off in response to criticism that it evoked on social media.

He stressed the same photo will be up again once the Cabinet gives its nod for two of the state secretaries.

A former state premier of Bavaria, Seehofer is a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU).

He was criticized previously for nominating only men for his party's ministerial posts in Merkel's Cabinet. The other constituents of the grand coalition — the CDU and the Social Democrats (SPD) — nominated at least three.

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Outrage on social media

The leadership team picture prompted outrage on social media, with users accusing Seehofer of sexism and discrimination.

The Green Party politician Hannah Neumann tweeted a screenshot of the picture in question with a caption: "Not my homeland!"

Another user tweeted a link to a petition asking Seehofer to appoint a woman to his team or resign.

ap/sms (AP, AFP)

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