Germany has been a late bloomer in the development of equal rights politics for women. The simple fact that women were banned from political organizations and university study until the twentieth century indicates the initial lack of legal rights given to women in this country. In 1918, however, women in Germany were granted equal rights. This was a year prior to the initiation of women's equal rights laws in United States, where the women's movement was later growing by leaps and bounds by the 1960's. In Germany during the 1960's, women were being shuffled back into traditional roles after a stint of "freedom" during the war. This shift to pre-WWII women's roles created a backlog of advancement for women's right in Germany - a backlog that did not much obtain relief until the 1990's.
Germany experienced a surge of new mandates and laws positively favoring women's rights after the reunification of the country in the late twentieth century.
Law reforms shaped the position of women further, in 1997 for instance, with the removal of the final stronghold of the "housewife marriage" condition (Lemke, 2001). As a consequence of this change and numerous others, women rose to a progressive, independent status in Germany.
These changes are not, however, welcomed without difficulties. Women were faced with hurdles in the form of institutional barriers, economic social gaps, and discrimination during this time of change. While Germany battles with the European Court of Justice over equal opportunity laws for the private sector even today, German women strive to overcome obstacles placed in their way. These problems are the obvious result of the adjustment period of law development, during which Germany must incorporate newer, fairer rulings into the old, out-of-date laws and legal regulations.
For women in Germany, advancement in large political parties presents a...