This information was last updated in 2015 and may have changed since then. EIGE will next update the information at the end of 2019.


Since 1994, Article 3 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany – the German constitution – stipulates the principle of equal rights for women and men, and obliges the German state to promote gender equality and to tackle existing inequalities.

Over the years, European Union (EU) policymaking has had a strong influence on the institutionalisation of gender-equality policies in Germany, and EU initiatives on gender mainstreaming have stimulated debate about respective instruments and institutional mechanisms.


Federal level: The permanent body in charge of gender mainstreaming is the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, which was established in 1972. Initially only one unit of the ministry was dedicated to gender equality, but since 1986 the entire Department for Gender Equality/Equal Opportunities deals with gender-equality policy, and consists of 10 units focusing on different areas of gender equality. Other gender-equality structures are in place both at federal and local level.

Laws and Policies

The Act on the Equality between Women and Men in the Federal Administration and the Federal Courts (Federal Equality Act) of 2001 obliges all public administration staff, including court staff, and especially those in leadership positions, to promote gender equality in all areas of their work. Furthermore, the Common Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries establish gender mainstreaming as a duty of all staff in federal ministries.