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The Family in Light of Women's Equality (December 20, 1965)

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Part One

Section 1:

(1) The socialist state protects and promotes marriage and the family. Through various measures, state and society use their influence to assure that the achievements connected with the birth, upbringing, and care of children in the family are acknowledged and duly appreciated. State and society contribute to strengthening the relations between man and woman and between parents and children, as well as to the development of the family. Citizens have a right to state protection of their marriage and family and to the respect of marriage and family bonds.

(2) The socialist society expects all citizens to behave responsibly towards marriage and family.

Section 2:

The equal rights of man and woman contribute decisively to the character of the family in socialist society. They obligate the husband and wife to arrange their mutual relationship such that both can take full advantage of the right to develop their abilities for their own and for society’s benefit. At the same time they also demand the mutual respect of each other’s personalities and support in developing their individual abilities.

Section 3:

(1) Citizens shall arrange their family relations in such a way as to promote the development of each family member. It is the noblest task of parents to raise their children in trusting cooperation with the institutions of the state and society to become healthy, industrious, and all-around educated individuals who enjoy life and actively work to build up socialism.

(2) Raising children is also the task and concern of all of society. For this reason, through its institutions and measures, the socialist state guarantees that parents can exercise their rights and obligations in raising their children. Special attention shall be paid to assistance for large families and for single mothers and fathers.

Section 4:

(1) The state institutions, especially those responsible for general education, youth services, and the health and social welfare departments, as well as the organs for the administration of justice, are obliged to give spouses the appropriate support in developing their family relations and [are obliged] to help parents in raising their children. Social organizations, work collectives, and parent councils shall participate to the extent they are able.

(2) In cooperation with social organizations, state organs shall establish marriage and family counseling centers in which experienced, informed citizens can offer advice and aid to people who are preparing for marriage or who turn to them in other family matters. The staff of the marriage and family counseling centers is obliged to treat the matters brought to them confidentially.

[ . . . ]

Source: Familiengesetzbuch der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik vom 20. Dezember 1965 [Family Code of the German Democratic Republic of December 20, 1965], Gesetzblatt, I 1966, no. 1, p. 1.

Translation: Allison Brown

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