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German History in Documents and Images
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Conference on Equality for Women in the Workplace (1972)
This photograph was taken at a women's conference sponsored by the “Food-Consumption-Restaurant Union” [Gewerkschaft Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten]. The conference, which was held in Dortmund in 1972, demanded equality for women in the workplace. Although women's employment had become the rule by this time, discrimination against women clearly persisted with respect to salaries, hiring opportunities, and promotion potential. As this image makes clear, the second wave of the women's movement (which hit in the 1970s) attracted not only the young rebellious women of the 1968 generation, but also older women who had lived according to traditional gender roles up to that point. These women, however, also demanded their right to political, professional, and social equality. The slogan seen throughout the conference hall ("If Eve goes on strike, the economy will collapse") attests to working women's consciousness of the economic bargaining power they wielded in Germany. Photo by Gerd Mingram [Germin].