Merz compromise: CDU party congress votes for gradual quota for women

The CDU party congress has decided to gradually introduce a women's quota limited to 2029.

Merz compromise: CDU party congress votes for gradual quota for women

The CDU party congress has decided to gradually introduce a women's quota limited to 2029. On Friday, 559 delegates voted in favor of the federal executive board's proposal, 409 against, and eleven abstained. From next year, a third of the posts on board members from the district level will have to be filled by women, from 2024 it will be 40 percent and from mid-2025 50 percent.

The same quotas for the first ten places on the list should apply to the preparation of lists for European, federal and state elections. "At least one woman should be among three consecutive places," the decision said.

The acceptance was preceded by a sometimes passionate debate, in which mainly women spoke. The delegate Juliane von der Ohe spoke out strictly against the quota. This is "highly undemocratic" and has "no place in our CDU". Several younger women among the delegates also rejected the quota. The argument that was often put forward was that they didn't want to be mere quota women, but wanted to convince through performance.

Schleswig-Holstein's Minister of Education, Karin Prien, urged acceptance of the quota. "It's about the question of whether the Union is sustainable. It's about the question of whether we will assume government responsibility again in 2025," she said. The necessary modernization of the party means that there must be "of course" parity between men and women.

After a series of negative speeches, the former Federal Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner spoke out vehemently in favor of the quota towards the end of the debate. "The really good women are not in the mood for it here at all," she said of the years of back and forth about the quota. She criticized a debate in which "women were pitted against women". In fact, the question is about the CDU, which has to get majorities in the federal government again. To do this, the party must also make an effort to attract women.

"That's the passion I've always wanted for this party," said CDU leader Friedrich Merz after the end of the debate. Shortly before the vote, he positioned himself for the first time at the party congress for acceptance. He pointed out that the party was sending "a signal to the outside world" with the decision. "More than 50 percent of voters are women," warned Merz. The CDU cannot hide that.

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