Michaela Schenk, owner and managing director of MAWA GmbH, comments on the International Women's Day and the topics of equal rights and equal opportunities:

“International Women's Day has been held annually on March 8th since 1911 to draw attention to the role of women in society. Originally created to promote equal rights, women's suffrage and emancipation, the meaning has shifted somewhat over the years. Fortunately, women are now allowed to vote almost everywhere and the focus is now more on the role of women in society and related issues such as equal opportunities, violence against women or discrimination against women.

But even today there are still enough reasons for International Women's Day. It is true that equality has made great strides during the 20th century, but in many areas there is still no talk of equal rights and opportunities for women and men. Some states have not yet enshrined gender equality in their constitutions, and millions of women around the world face discrimination when it comes to accessing education or health care.

And also in Europe and in Germany, women are disadvantaged – especially when it comes to work. For example, the gender pay gap has still not been closed, which is partly due to the fact that women stay at home to look after the children and reduce their working hours. The corona pandemic, for example, has even intensified the re-traditionalisation of gender relations.

And women are still underrepresented in management positions: According to the German Federal Statistical Office, the proportion of women in 2019 was only 30 percent. This put Germany in twentieth place in a comparison of EU countries. The situation is similar when it comes to self-employment. In 2019, the microcensus found that only about 34 percent of the self-employed in Germany are women. Although the numbers in both areas have increased in recent years, there is still room for improvement.

At Girls' Day, Michaela Schenk tells young women about her career and encourages them approach their professional future with confidence.