What can family policy achieve? (June 14, 2021)

Opinions in the Bundestag differ widely on the importance of family policy in Germany. According to a report in the Tagesschau, Ivonne Magwas, CDU politician and chairwoman of the CDU women's group, sees the Corona crisis as an opportunity to re-discuss the long-standing debate about reconciling family and career and to get long-term solutions off the ground. The SPD and the Grüne criticize the CDU-led Ministry for Families for not being sufficiently aware of the problems faced by families. The Linke has ideas and concepts for which there is no room for joint discussion. The AfD sees no need for action, since it can be assumed that society will regulate compatibility on its own. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk, the publicist Elisabeth Niejahr speaks of an undersupply of family policy. Both the Tagesschau report and that of Deutschlandfunk open up prospects for how the view of family policy concerns could change after the next federal election.

Living Compatibility - What needs do families direct at politics? (June 10, 2021)

The format of the Future Symposium continues in a discussion round. On the occasion of the upcoming federal elections, the Fathers' Network (Väternetzwerk) invites to formulate needs for politics in order to promote partnership and compatibility in modern society.

  • When? June 17 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
  • Where? Online via Zoom  

More information about the event can be found in the latest newsletter of the Fathers' Network. Click here for registration.

Structural change in the world of work (June 10, 2021)

In April, the Future Symposium (Zukunftssymposium) met to debate what changes families would like to see in the face of challenges in the world of work. The Fathers' Network (Väternetzwerk) has summarized the results of the discussion and also makes recommendations for action for companies. Around 1,200 participants took part in regular online surveys over an 8-month period to give their views on the following areas of life: How is child bonding and partnership developing? What are the advantages and disadvantages of working from home? What is the employer's perspective on these questions? The results of the symposium and the surveys can be viewed here

Father, Mother, Child? Family in change (June 7, 2021)

What makes a family? What difficulties does it face today? And how much are we shaped by our family histories? Planet Wissen (SWR) talked about these questions with the historian Rolf-Ulrich Kunze from KIT, among others. The full-length discussion can be found in the Planet Wissen media library.

Parenthood should be protected under labor law (June 7, 2021)

So far, working parents in, during and before their parental leave are not protected by the General Equal Rights Act (AGG) as demanded by employee representatives and legal experts. The #proparents initiative launched a petition on March 31, 2021 to strengthen the AGG in favor of mothers and fathers. A goal of the initiative, in which in addition the magazines Brigitte and Eltern participate, is to take up the discriminating characteristic "parenthood" into the § 1 of the AGG. Thus e.g. the protection against dismissal, the receipt of an equivalent job as well as salary would be ensured. More information about the campaign can be found here. Here you can support the petition.

Overnight accommodation for parents living in separation (June 7, 2021)

Mein Papa kommt/Meine Mama kommt is a nationwide visitation program that encourages parents and children with two homes to be together. After a separation, there can be hundreds of miles between child and parent. To ensure that fathers and mothers are not prevented by long distances from losing the bond with their child, volunteer hosts get involved and offer free overnight stays at the child's home. More information about the offer can be found here

Family-friendly support and offers (June 7, 2021)

Lokale Bündnisse für Familie (Local Alliances for the Family) is an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs that promotes the networking of various actors at the local level. With a wide range of offers, the initiative strives for a change in society that promotes the compatibility of family and career instead of making it more difficult. The offers range from support in financial matters and family benefits, help in crisis situations to vacation, childcare and employment offers for children. Offers and dates are continuously updated and can be viewed on the website of the Local Alliances for the Family.

What is this? - Educational work by equal opportunity officers (May 31, 2021)

A campaign by the city of Munich is dedicated to the transparency of equal opportunity tasks. What do equal opportunity commissioners want to achieve? Why are their concerns important? What does the term gender mainstreaming actually mean? In order to dispel misconceptions, Munich's equal opportunity commissioners are doing educational work: this video illustrates the necessity and motivation of gender mainstreaming.

Home office rethought (May 31, 2021)

The blog of the corporate network ,,Erfolgsfaktor Familie'' discusses the pros and cons of working from home based on practical examples. While in some professions working in presence is without alternative, in other professions the presence culture is questioned. How satisfied are employees with their current situation? What are managers doing to make working on-site and at home work? Read more about this topic here.

Gender relations in science (May 31, 2021)

The book Kooperation und Konkurrenz im Wissenschaftsbetrieb: Perspektiven aus der Genderforschung und -politik was co-authored by women scientists who are dedicated to gender research. The authors share insights into networking and gender equality work at universities and gender relations in science. Recommended by the Society for Education and Science (GEW).

Perspectives for more gender justice (May 31, 2021)

Last year, sociology professor Jutta Allmendinger and other experts discussed the social consequences of the corona pandemic on talk show host Anne Will. ,,Women will continue to experience a terrible retraditionalization. I don't think it will be so easy to make up for it, and that we will lose three decades,‘‘ Allmendinger said of the emerging rollback in gender relations. In her book Es geht nur gemeinsam! Wie wir endlich Geschlechtergerechtigkeit erreichen Allmendinger confirms her thesis with sociological data. The editorial team of Deutschlandfunk sees the book's potential in depicting social reality and pointing out perspectives that should help to make social relations fairer.

The bukof formulates 18 positions for a gender-equitable higher education policy (May 17, 2021)

The Federal Conference of Women's and Equal Opportunity Officers at Universities (bukof) addresses stakeholders in the German higher education landscape with a position paper for a gender-equitable higher education policy. The demands of bukof represent an orientation framework for students as well as for employees in teaching, technology and administration: The bukof opens up perspectives and reveals the need for change, which, for example, affects the study conditions or staff organization at universities. The full text of the positions can be found on the bukof website.

Childcare – What regulations are applied in which state? (May 11, 2021)

Education policy is regulated by the states. In this case there have been no changes during the Corona crisis. It is hardly surprising that parents lose the track of all the regulations which are valid for childcare. In consequence parents are wondering what regulations are applied in their home state. The german student union (Deutsches Studentenwerk) regularly updates all the general regulations in every single german state. Current (needed) childcare possibilities of each state are listed here.

Campaign ,,Catching up with Corona for children and adolescents'' - The federal government grants 2 billion euros (May 10, 2021)

Two billion euros are being made available nationwide for educational measures. Due to the pandemic, not only educational but also bonding gaps have emerged in recent weeks and months. In view of learning gaps and diminished space for personal development, a carefree return to a normal state as before the pandemic is unthinkable. For this reason, half of the funding is invested in early childhood education, vacation recreation and additional social work. The other half will go toward support measures to reduce learning deficits in the core subjects German, Maths and foreign languages. Further information on the action program can be found on the BMFSFJ website.     

Online Conference "MeToo in Science" - Legal and Preventive Measures against Sexualized Discrimination and Violence in Universities (May 10, 2021)

Sexualized discrimination and violence are also present at German universities. To date, legal guidelines exist for dealing with this phenomenon of violence in everyday university life. However, despite concrete incidents, it seems unclear whether and to what extent preventive measures are implemented and whether they are suitable to achieve their intended goal. This problem is the focus of the two-day online conference "MeToo in Science", a cooperation event of the Ruhr-University Bochum and the University of Paderborn. The agenda includes legal guidelines as well as preventive measures to prevent and counter sexualized discrimination and violence. Part one of the conference will take place on 17th June 2021, conference part number two will follow on 01st July 2021 online via Zoom, on both days from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Interested university administrations, equal opportunity officers and scientists can register here until 7th June 2021. Further information can be found on the homepage of the Ruhr-University Bochum.

Abuse of power in science – The perspective of doctoral students (May 10, 2021)

The N2 - Network of Doctoral Student Networks regularly conducts surveys among more than 16.000 doctoral students throughout Germany to represent the interests of doctoral students to research organizations and the public. One of the most recent surveys addresses the phenomenon of abuse of power in science. The survey results suggest an urgent need for action, as there is a high level of dissatisfaction among doctoral students. The respondents state that they perceive the strong dependence on a person hierarchically superior to them as problematic. Bullying by supervisors and superiors is one of many reasons why doctoral students think about leaving science. More information about the survey and the results can be found here.

EQUAL tools – Measures for more equal opportunities at Universities (May 10, 2021)

Despite the fact that the equal opportunity offices of universities have already been in operation for many years, there is still room for improvement in practice. Intending to support and inspire this work, the ETH Zurich has developed "EQUAL tools" - a catalog that includes good practice examples from various (technical) universities in addition to measures for more equal opportunities. In addition, the proposed measures are complemented by estimates of time and costs as well as success factors. Further information can be found on the ETH Zurich website.

Corona-KiTa-Rat: The meaning of childcare during the Corona crisis (May 5, 2021)

From a medical and social point of view the Corona-KiTa-Study investigates which meaning the corona crisis has for kindergartens, children and their parents. Results are regularly published and give on the one hand an overview of measures of hygiene in kindergartens and inoculation priorities for educational staff, on the other hand of the role of children as spreaders of the virus. The study serves to guide political decision-makers and legitimizes decisions in family policy. Discussing opening strategies and implementing such strategies is still strongly dependent on the current infection situation. Thereby, the focus is on health and safety protection of the education staff at their workplaces. The current decisions are recorded (as of March 30, 2021) in a video-statement by the Federal Minister for Family Affairs Franziska Giffey.

Changes in social and family policy in 2021 (April 8, 2021)

The german student union (Deutsches Studentenwerk) gives an overview of the latest changes and developements of social and family policy in 2021. Various information can be found in here, e.g. current arrangements for increasing child allowance (Kindergeld) and tax-free child allowance (Kinderfreibetrag), the adjustment of the Düsseldorfer Tabelle, financial discharge of single parents and arrangements for increasing of the housing benefit (Wohngeld). Further information to all changes can be found on the official website of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Therefore, the german student union gives advices by offering links in its published overview.

Social pedagogical blog around Corona (continuously up to date)

The Blog developed from an initiative of the executive committee of the commission social paedagogy in the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft e.V. The blog posts deal with diverse social questions that have arisen due to the Corona pandemic, especially with regard to education, care, nursing, etc.

Reforms on family benefits (February 23, 2021)

On September 1st, 2021 amendments to two laws come into force. There are amendments to the Federal Parental Allowance Law as well to the Parental Leave Law. Young parents profit from the reform, parents, who want to continue work in part-time during the first and second year after birth. Also parents from premature babies are taken in consideration. Federal Minister for Family Affairs Franziska Giffey gives an overview on the financial support in a video-statement. Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Are families experiencing a "backlash"? (February 23, 2021)

From a political point of view the fear arouse, that a process of so-called re-tradition of the role of family is currently taken place. One reason, which seems to undermine this thesis is that women at first glance withdraw from worklife in order to take care for their children. What is the matter about this statement? For investigation, Johanna Possinger from the College Ludwigsburg and Dörthe Gatermann from German Association for Public and Private Welfare Berlin look at existing studies on the topic. Their results can be read here.

Opening of schools – criticism by the GEW (February 16, 2021)

Which conditions have to be fulfilled to re-open schools? Does it make sense to link opening decisions to incidence numbers? Why is it important to have federal regulations for schools? The GEW criticizes the plans of policy in terms of re-opening schools. Marlis Tepe, president of the GEW, explains that decisions are made too hastily and that implementation is therefore about to fail. The demands of the GEW can be read here.

Relief for parents with children in childcare (February 16, 2021)

Social and financial relief to parents is brought by a law, which regulates the number of paid sick days due to childcare. The law comes in force backdated to 5th of January 2021 and ad-dresses all those parents, which can’t give their children into care institutions during latest times. In 2021, each parent will be entitled to twice as many pediatric sick days (Kinderkrankentage) per child as the provisions have provided so far. Moreover, in case of loss of earning due to no given possibilities of childcare parents are lawfully entitled to receive a compensation. The right of compensation for loss of earning is limited to 31st of March 2021. Detailed regulation for lawful claims can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Work-life-balance during the Corona crisis (February 3, 2021)

More and more companies are considering childcare as an important factor contributing to in-house productivity. Due to the effects of the Corona crisis, companies are responding with new flexible offerings. A study by the corporate program ,,Erfolgsfaktor Familie‘‘ reports on current developments in terms of compatibility. The BMFSFJ study can be accessed here.

Stress and mental strain at work (February 3, 2021)

The Stress Report 2019 published by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health shows that the demands of the working world correlate with the occurrence of psychological stress factors. Despite slight decreases, work intensity is still at a high level. At the same time, more and more employees are finding the demands placed on them stressful. The current stress report is available here.

Health situation of women in Germany (February 3, 2021)

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) provides information on the health status, health behavior and health care of women in Germany. The focus is on various groups, such as women between gainful employment and family work or single parents. The RKI's survey report is accessible here.

Children, household, care - who takes care? (January 27, 2021)

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth has published a dossier on the subject of "Children, Household, Care – who cares? Women and men are equally faced with the challenge of fulfilling professional obligations and care responsibilities. Equality policy aims to create a framework that enables women and men to share the work and care responsibilities in partnership. The dossier looks at the gender care gap, its causes and possible solutions. Are women the losers of the Covid-19 pandemic? A survey conducted by the Institute for Employment Research also deals with this question. The results of the survey can be viewed in the IBA-Forum.

Equality and university in the pandemic (continuously up to date)

The federal conference of women’s and equal opportunities commissioners of universities offers current information about equality, science and universities during the corona-pandemic.

Well-being of families in times of Corona (July 31, 2020)

DIW Berlin (German Institute for Economic Research) has published a report on the well-being of families in times of corona. It shows that parents with young children are said to be the most affected. Various survey data collected before and during the Corona pandemic show Satisfaction with life in general and also with family life and child care is significantly lower.

Discharge for single parents (July 31, 2020)

The disburdening factor for single parents (regulated in §24b of the income tax act) was raised from 1908€ up to 4008€ for 2020 and 2021 as a reaction on the special situation of single parents during the corona pandemic. Here you can read more about it.

Documentary: Life situation: Single parent! Which support does the single-parent-family need?” (July 31, 2020)

On the website of the family council a documentation was published, which shows the reality of life of single parents. During the family-political discussions on 26.06.2020 in Stuttgart, these were a theme. The contents are accessible here.

Children’s bonus has been enacted (June 12, 2020)

To support families in the corona pandemic financially and to set an impulse to revive the economy, a children’s bonus was enacted as part of the corona-economic stimulus package. Families can obtain 300€ per person in rates of 150€. Especially for families with a low/average income, the bonus is very welcome. Click here for more information.

Extended wage continuation has been enacted (June 5, 2020)

In the future parents will receive a compensation for loss of wages up to 20 weeks to support them even more during the corona pandemic and to offer financial security. The regulation applies to parents who have to take care of children aged up to 12 and who were not able to work regularly. Here you can read more about it.

New study „parents during the Corona-Crisis“ (June 5, 2020)

The Federal Institute for Population Research has published a new study entitled „parents during the Corona-Crisis: Forced to improvise“. The focus has been set on issues like closing of child care or school, home office, time use and much more. For more information, click here.

Study on the impact of the pandemic on families (May 15, 2020)

In the nationwide KICO study, more than 25.000 parents were questioned  about their current well-being and everyday family life during the corona pandemic. The experiences and perspectives are highlighted in the study. You can access the results of the study here.

Study on gender equality and Corona (April 23, 2020)

The study determines the impact of the corona-pandemic on parents and their time management relating to childcare, gainful employment and domestic work. Here you can find the evaluation.

Corona - Families at the limit (May 8, 2020)

The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung has conducted research on the effects of the corona pandemic on families. The following article deals with reasons such as multiple exposure and lack of contacts as well as possible consequences.

Participants sought for study to improve career re-entry

The ESB Business School of the University of Reutlingen is currently conducting a study on the topic of “re-entry after the baby” and “compatibility of family and career”. The results obtained are to be used to create helpful offers to parents in this situation. In concrete terms, a pilot mentoring program is to be developed that will link parents with each other as well as experts and mentors. All parents can participate in the study, regardless of how long ago they returned to work. Click here to take a closer look at the study.