Women and the Basic Law: 75 years of equal rights on paper

17. May 2024

What is the reality? SATELLITE OFFICE has had a look:

On 23 May 2024, the Federal Republic of Germany will celebrate 75 years of the Basic Law. In 1949, Article 3 (2) was adopted, marking a milestone in German history: “Men and women shall have equal rights.”

But how far has Germany really come in terms of equal rights? What has the Basic Law achieved for women and what challenges remain?

Basic Law Women
Women power: artist Petra Becker, Satellite Office CEO Anita Gödiker, stylist Laila Hamidi and winemaker Maike Heil

The “Mothers of the Basic Law” and their fight for equality

Four women – Elisabeth Selbert, Helene Weber, Friederike Nadig and Helene Wessel – played a central role in anchoring equal rights in the Basic Law. They stood up to resistance and hostility and fought tirelessly for women’s rights.

Achievements and progress

Thanks to the Basic Law, women in Germany have made enormous progress over the past 75 years. They have gained access to education and employment, can live self-determined lives and organise their families freely. The VdU (Association of German Women Entrepreneurs) promotes the development and manifestation of women in leadership roles.

Discrimination and gender-based violence: still a bitter reality

Despite all the progress made, equality between men and women is still a long way off. Women continue to be disadvantaged in many areas of life:

  • The pay gap: On average, women earn 18 percent less than men.
  • Underrepresentation in leadership positions: Women are still significantly underrepresented in the top echelons of business and politics.
  • Violence against women: One in three women in Germany has experienced violence from men since the age of 15. experienced violence from men since the age of 15.

What can be done?

There is still a lot to be done to realise equal rights for women in Germany.

  • Targeted promotion of women in all areas of life
  • Combating stereotypes and role clichés
  • Expansion of childcare services for children

Strengthening legal protection for women against violence What can you do?

  • Find out about the situation of women in Germany and worldwide.
  • Take a stand against sexism and discrimination.
  • Support organisations like the VdU that campaign for women’s rights.
  • Become active in politics or other organisations to promote gender equality.

Together we can create a society in which all people have equal rights!


75 years after the Basic Law was passed, it is time to take stock and discuss the next steps for equal rights for women in Germany.

Let’s work together to create a society in which women and men are truly equal!

The enshrinement of equal rights in the Basic Law was an important milestone on the way to a fairer society. However, it is important to to remember this, that equality between women and men is still a long way from being achieved.

Everyone must continue to work hard to eliminate discrimination against women and create a society in which all people have equal opportunities.

Further information: -2262564