Guest Submission: The Catholic Church in Germany prescribes itself a Women-quota

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By Damian Fratzoglou
In four years, at least one third of the leadership positions in the German Dioceses shall be held by women. The Catholic Church in Germany came to this agreement.

The Catholic Church in Germany plans to establish more women in leadership positions and has agreed to a certain quota: The Bishops want to increase the percentage of women in leadership positions in the Dioceses to at least one third. Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, the Chairman of the women subcommittee of the Conference of German Bishops, announced this on the 12th of March in Lingen.
According to a study from Lingen, the share of women in the boardrooms for the management of dioceses has already increased in the last five years. And yet they still remain unrepresented in this field.
According to the survey, since 2013 the percentage of women on the executive level of Dioceses has increased from 13 to about 19 percent and from the middle level from 19 to 23 percent. This increase “is better than nothing, but not even close to satisfying”, said Bode. The Bishop of Osnabrück reported, that the objective “of one third” will be verified in 2023.
According to Bode, the survey has mentioned the factors, that are hindering women from advancing onto leaderhsip positions in the Dioceses. Because of this, these possible possitions were appearing as too unattractive to women. It is argued, that this is due to a lack of standards, to which women could conform these positions. Traditional depictions of women or families and roles pressure women onto having to justify themselves and this also affected their personal choice. Management seems to be predominant in full time committment and presence is held to a high standard. “The massive lack of young interest” in all Church vocations and the missing share of women in the middle executive level seem to add to the fact, that there are hardly any female candidates in leadership positions.
According to the study, six Administrations of Dioceses do not have a single woman on the upper executive board, eleven administrations only have one, other five of them have two women each, and another five administrations have between three and five women on such a post. This hardly reaches to the “critical Mass” of 30 percent. In 2013 there were 9 Administrations of Dioceses, in which there were no women in an upper executive position.

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One thought on “Guest Submission: The Catholic Church in Germany prescribes itself a Women-quota

  1. I can’t say I think this is a positive thing happening in Germany, or anywhere else for that matter. But this article is very concise and direct. Not much room for questions. I do remember the time a nun “concelebrated” Mass with a priest once. It was disconcerting at the least. Even my 13 year old daughter wondered if it counted as going to Mass. I had no answer because I didn’t know either, but I suspect not. Is this the sin of Eve again?


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