February 17, 2019

Is Angela Merkel a Feminist?

“The day after the British Parliament voted down a deal on Brexit, with political instability dominating international headlines, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany sat down for a 45-minute interview with a journalist from the German newspaper Die Zeit.

They didn’t talk about Britain, however, or the future of Europe or even really about German politics. Instead, Ms. Merkel gave a rare and candid account of her experience as a female politician, her thoughts on feminism and how she has been shaped by her gender. It was her first time broaching the topic at such length in more than 13 years as chancellor.

Ms. Merkel is the most visible and powerful woman in the world: whether consciously or not, she’s served as a role model to women and girls across the globe, and as proof of the political heights to which a woman today can rise.

But she has built her political persona precisely by downplaying that female identity. When she was climbing the ranks of the conservative, male-dominated Christian Democrats in the 1990s, Ms. Merkel consistently sought to create a brand that transcended her gender, rejecting the label of feminist and opting not to vocally pursue women’s issues.”

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