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Women, men and hardly any differences?

A representative survey on participation and representation of women in Germany

Our study examines perceptions of gender equality, role models and stereotypes in a representative survey. While there are hardly any differences between the attitudes of men and women, the youngest age group of 18- to 35-year-olds stands out. The results allow classifications, comparisons and conclusions on strengthening women's participation and representation.

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Germany has made important progress in terms of equality between men and women in recent decades. Nevertheless, inequalities can still be found in areas such as work, education, health, power, money or time commitment. But what are the reasons for these differences? What is people's perception around the issue of gender equality? 

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Experteninterview mit Dominik Hirndorf zur Partizipation & Repräsentation von Frauen in Deutschland


The Konrad Adenauer Foundation addressed these questions in a representative survey. Attitudes towards the representation and participation of women as well as the perception of role models or stereotypes were examined. On behalf of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, IPSOS surveyed around 2,000 eligible voters in Germany between November 3, 2021 and December 22, 2021. The survey data was weighted according to socio-structural characteristics. The survey is representative of the resident population in Germany aged 18 and over who are eligible to vote.

Some main findings of our study are:

  • Discrimination against women is perceived as a major problem. Every second person estimates the extent of the problem of discrimination against women in Germany as (very) great.
  • In Germany - unlike in other countries - there are hardly any differences in the perception of women and men. Both sexes are sensitive to the issues of gender equality, role models and stereotypes.  There are no major differences between western and eastern Germany, with the exception that women in eastern Germany are less often called upon to care for their children than in the west of the republic.
  • Gender equality and the associated debates are generally viewed positively by the German population. In addition, gender-based prejudices do not find majorities and a (very) large majority feels that both genders are equally well suited for important positions in politics, business, the armed forces or childcare.
  • The youngest age group (18-35 years) is conspicuous. Not only do they perceive the problem of discrimination more strongly, but they also rate gender equality particularly positively and agree with prejudices or stereotypes less often than older age groups.
  • Women are similarly success-oriented as men, young women even more so on average than their male peers. However, the higher average value placed on family compared to men and the higher dissatisfaction with leisure time and work among women show that the time budgets for family, leisure time and work compete even more strongly among women than among men.
  • At the political level, gender differences in the forms of political participation as well as in the perception of political efficacy and the stated political interest point to the need for action, e.g., to better reconcile family, work and social commitment.


Read the entire study "Women, men and hardly any differences? A Representative Survey on Participation and Representation of Women in Germany" here as PDF.

Please note, to date the study is only available in German.

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Dominik Hirndorf

Dominik Hirndorf

Electoral and Social Research +49 30 26996-3858
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Unsplash / Claudio Schwarz
January 19, 2023
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