German president introduces female quota for top state award – DW – 11/23/2022 / German News

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s office on Wednesday announced a 40% quota for women for the Cross of Merit award.

The award, also known as the Order of Merit, is equal to a knighthood and represents the highest tribute Germany pays to individuals for their services to the nation.

The president’s office said fewer women had been given Germany’s top award compared to men, precisely with a one-third frequency.

A report recently published by the German newspaper Southgerman newspaper said the Federal Cross of Merit was awarded 1,111 times last year. Women made up 34% of the recipients.

What did Steinmeier say?

“Women do great things in our society,” the German president said in the statement published by his aides. “Whether in associations, companies, at universities or in culture — women provide cohesion, humanity, progress and creativity.”

He called on citizens to nominate more women for the award.

“Take a look around, in your neighborhood, in your free time, at your female colleagues. The Order of Merit is based on the suggestions I receive from citizens.”

The award is a way “to give more women the recognition they deserve,” he added.

Who can be awarded Germany’s Cross of Merit?

Germans and foreigners can be awarded the Cross of Merit for political, economic, social or intellectual achievements, as well as outstanding services to Germany, according to the office of the federal president.

The award does not involve a cash prize.

Among last year’s awardees of the Cross of Merit were General Jens Arlt for his role in the evacuation process in Afghanistan and BioNTech founders Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin for developing a coronavirus vaccine.

fb/dj (AFP, EPD, dpa, KNA)

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