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Expert conference

Women and Politics in Christian Democratic and Conservative Parties

Historical Perspectives and Current Issues

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„Therefore, women must have a full part in shaping political, economic and social life.” (CDU Basic Program, 1978)


At least since the 1970s, when considerable decline of female voters led the head of the party to actively try to attract women, female participation in politics is an important topic for the CDU. 50 years later women still complain about their lack of influence and about being considered too little for political careers, while at the same time Angela Merkel has been the CDU’s head for 18 years. However, the supposed “women-issue” faces the fact that the party at first profited heavily from female voters during Adenauer’s leadership. Female voters also played an important role for Angela Merkel’s success, e.g. at the Bundestag election of 2013, where she received massive support by women.

The question about women’s participation in the CDU is of the utmost importance for the problem of the party’s rooting in society, too. In the context of the party’s varied history we would like to discuss on an internationally comparative basis the values and political ideals of women with Christian democratic and conservative background. Our goal will be to examine whether there is such a thing as a specific “middle-class-feminism” of women in the CDU.


It is possible to attend the event both online and on the spot. The main language will be German but English translation will be provided for the full event.

Follow the Livestream via Zoom: 
Kenncode: 361987


2 p.m. Welcoming and Introduction

Hildegard Müller, Minister of State a. D., Member of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation e.V.

Dr. Michael Borchard, Head of Scientific Services / Archive for Christian-Democratic Policy, Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation e.V.


2:15 p.m. Panel Discussion: In Search of a Voice of their own: Women in Christian Democratic and Conservative Parties

  • Women and politics in Austria: The Women's League of the ÖVP

Prof. Dr. Anita Ziegerhofer, University of Graz

  • Italy: Values ​​and political objectives of Catholic women in the Christiana Democracy

Prof. Tiziana Di Maio, Università LUMSA, Rom

  • Republican Women in the Unites States: The National Federation of Women’s Republican Clubs

Prof. Catherine Rymph, University of Missouri, College of Arts and Science


Chair: Dr. Christine Bach, Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation e.V.

4 p.m. Coffee

4:30 p.m. Panel Discussion: Stagnation or Progress? The Representation of Women in Christian Democratic and Conservative Parties in Europe since 1990

  • Between equal rights and marginalization: women's access to political posts and their influence in the Union parties

Dr. Helga Lukoschat, Europäische Akademie für Frauen in Politik und Wirtschaft Berlin e.V.

  • Women in the European People's Party: self-image and fields of activity

PD Dr. Ines Soldwisch, Heinrich Heine Universität, Düsseldorf

  • Le pouvoir de « la parité » : la loi française sur la parité et ses conséquences.

Prof. Armelle Le Bras-Chopard, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines


Chair: Stefan Stahlberg, Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation e.V.


6 p.m. Get together with snacks and punch

Evening Event: The Participation of Women in the CDU: Present and Future


7 p.m. Welcoming and introduction

Dr. Christine Bach, Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation e.V.

7:15 – 8:30 p.m. Panel Discussion


  • Mario Czaja, Secretary-general of the CDU
  • Sabine Buder, Deputy Chairwoman of the CDU Biesenthal
  • Christine Schneider, MEP, EPP Group in the European Parliament, Member of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, Deputy Chairwoman of the Women's Union of the CDU
  • Juliane Schäuble, Der Tagesspiegel

Chair: Leonie Feuerbach, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

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Academy of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation
Tiergartenstr. 35,
10785 Berlin



  • Anita Ziegerhofer
    • Tiziana di Maio
      • Catherine Rymph
        • Ines Soldwisch
          • Helga Lukoschat
            • Armelle Le Bras-Chopard
              • Hildegard Müller
                • Sabine Buder
                  • Juliane Schäuble
                    • Christine Schneider
                      • Mario Czaja


                        „Seien Sie mutig, nutzen Sie Chancen, zögern Sie nicht!“: Frauen in christdemokratischen und konservativen Parteien
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