Nazi Women Propaganda

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Under the Weimar Republic, the status of women was one of the most progressive in Europe. The Weimar Constitution of January 19, 1919 proclaimed their right to vote (articles 17 and 22), equality of the sexes in civic matters (art. 109), non-discrimination against female bureaucrats (art. 128), maternity rights (art. 19) and spousal equality within marriage (art. 119). Clara Zetkin, a prominent leader of the German feminist movement, was a Member of Parliament in the Reichstag from 1920 to 1933 and even presided over the assembly in the role of Dean. But Weimar did not represent a huge leap forward for women's liberation. Women remained under-represented in the parliament; motherhood continued to be promoted as women's most important social function; abortion was still prosecutable (§ 218 of the Criminal Code); and female workers did not achieve substantial economic progress such as equal salaries. With the emergence of consumerism, businesses and government had an increasing need for labour; although work became a route to emancipation for women, they were often restricted to clerical work as secretaries or sales staff, where they were generally paid 10 to 20% less than male employees, under various pretexts, such as the claim that their understanding of domestic tasks freed them from certain household expenses.