Women’s Rights All Over The World: Germany

Interviewer’s Introductions: Welcome to my third of several articles based around Women’s rights worldwide (Read the first three: here, here, and here)! This series is meant to bring awareness to people who may not know what life is like in different countries as a woman. None of this is for debate, as it is the interviewee’s opinion and view of their own country and their experiences within it. Thank you!*

 

1. What is your full name?

Franka Schramm

2. How old are you? Do you feel like your age has affected your worldview? How so?

I’m 20 years old. And my age always affects me in every situation, and this is the case with everyone. When I talk to people older or younger than me I can see how different each generation thinks about certain things. That is because everyone gets confronted with different things that seem more or less important based on their standing in life right now.  

3. What is your gender and preferred pronouns?

Female/ she

4. Do you think sexuality is perceived differently from where you live compared to the rest of the world?

I do believe that sexuality in Germany is overall perceived differently than in some other countries. But sexuality cannot be confined to national borders. In Germany, there are countless different attitudes towards sexuality. It all depends on how you were raised, in what you believe, your age, etc. There are a lot of different impact factors that can affect your opinion. But overall, I would say that the younger generation is more open minded. Young adults do not care with whom you may do things or what you do, because it’s not our business. But we do not support everything. I mean there are no forbidden thoughts. But you should not exercise every thought because they are illegal, but these often relate to mental problems (pedophilia charges, rape, etc.). Even older generations get more open minded and I think that is a thing.  

5. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?

This question is difficult to answer because there are a lot of different feminist movements. But I would consider myself as a feminist. It is important to fight for women’s rights. I am lucky to live in a country like Germany, but in many situations, women are oppressed and discriminated against. Things need to change rapidly. Every woman must have the right to be able to decide about her own body and life. No one has the right to tell a woman that she is too weak for whatever. The people who say that are just afraid to see how smart, strong, and intelligent women can be.      

6. In your personal experience how do you think your life differs from a mans?

The lives of men and women are quite different due to biological factors. In society, sometimes women have it easier and sometimes men. Girls have it easier in school and college because they are seen as more reasonable, independent and polite. But from the moment both sexes start their careers, it’s easier for men to get jobs in higher positions. In Germany, we rarely have females in top managing positions. Women show over and over again that they can be as good as men and better, but the world doesn’t seem to recognize our hard work.     

7. What are some things that you think of as a woman but wish you didn’t have to?

What I always have to think of is how to get home safely without being bothered after an evening at the bar. I was followed twice on my way home and had to call a friend or a cab. I am a confident woman and don’t want to be brought home by someone every time I go out. I wish we had a world where everyone can move freely without any worries.

8. Do you think customs for women are different where you are compared to the rest of the world? If yes, how so?

I do believe that the customs for women are different than in many other countries. In Germany, I can do whatever I want. Often, it’s just harder to get there because I’m a woman. But I have many possibilities. In other countries, women aren’t allowed to go to college or work. I have legal rights, so if I feel mistreated, I can get help. I’m allowed to have my own opinion and to speak out. Sadly, not every woman in the world has those rights and we need to change that.   

9. How have the roles of women in your country changed over the centuries? Do you like the direction it is heading?

The role of women has changed a lot in the last decades. In my grandparents’ generation, the husbands were allowed to decide whether the wife would go to work. But often the wives had to stay at home and do the household. The generation of my parents enforced that both sexes can work if they want to. However, the household tasks remained mostly the responsibility of women. As a result, many women were overworked and overwhelmed. In my generation it is the same as with my parents’ generation with the difference that household and educational tasks are tried to be distributed fairly.

10. How is marriage shaped in your country? Does it alter the culture around you? Does it affect how a woman behaves?

Marriage in Germany has no shape. It depends on the people who get married. For example, my parents have been married for 30 years. But some parents of my friends got married three times. So, there is no culture or anything. It really depends on the individuals. I don’t believe that marriage affects the way women behave. At least I never witnessed that a woman changed her personality because she married somebody.  

11. If you could change one part of society in regards to human rights, what would you change? Do you think this is specific to where you’re from or should it be changed throughout the entire world?

To be honest I don’t know a lot about human rights, but the first and most important thing that has to change is that every country and every human being must respect human rights. We are all the same. Everyone strives for a happy life. We must understand that the world never has been this connected before. For living in a peaceful world people must learn to listen so they have a chance to understand each other. We do not always have to agree. The only thing we have to do is to accept and tolerate everyone and their flaws.