New Ways for Gender Equality: Gender Quota for Political Participation and Gender-Competent Teaching in Legal Studies
Due to the Corona pandemic the Multiplier Event had to be held online and 78 participants visited the slots in English and German in April 2021.
During the German event Mareike Fröhlich introduced the project with its main activities and outputs to all participants. Thereafter, the event focussed on gender issues, especially the gender image in legal education (cf. agenda). Dr. Dana Valentiner presented her own and several other analyses of German case problems designed for legal education which are used for legal education and pointed out that they transport a specific gender image, depicting women in a detrimental position. She motivated the participants to question their own educational material under that assumption and change it to a more modern gender-neutral approach. This presentation was followed by Rechtsanwältin and Abogada Katharina Miller, who works as a lawyer in Madrid. She shared her experiences about the reconciliation of family and work as a partner in her own law firm, as the president of the European Women Lawyers Association as well as a mother. She made clear that more engagement is needed as well as new forms of gender equality in the legal profession. In the aftermath, a vibrant discussion took place which analysed the current situation from different perspectives and can be summarized to the effect that the German constitution in Art. 3 (2) a mandate for action which can no longer be ignored but needs to take into account other fundamental rights, such as the protection of the family as well as the personal freedom rights.
The English event was met with great interest. After the welcome by the German coordinator, Prof. Dr. Thomas Giegerich, the Serbian head coordinator, Prof. Dr. Dragica Vujadinovic, introduced the project, its intellectual outputs and the main results. The consortium was very pleased that Ivana Jelic, judge at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, presented her understanding of the importance of gender-competent legal education. In the following, the event focussed on the presentation of the curriculum for a master study programme in law and gender (intellectual output 1, IO1). Mareike Fröhlich presented the main structure and details of the curriculum which should serve as a model for national programmes. In addition, the following mandatory courses were presented: Feminist and Political Legal Theories by Prof. Dr. Antonio Álvarez del Cuvillo of the University of Cadiz, Human Rights Law – Gender Perspective by Prof. Dr. Tanasije Marinković of the University of Belgrade, International and European Law and Gender Equality by Prof. Dr. Marco Evola of LUMSA University as well as Feminist Judgements by Prof. Dr. Ivana Krstic of the University of Belgrade. All presenters explained the syllabi and elaborated the gender dimension and the differences to a traditional teaching.
As a prelude to the following panel discussion Prof. Dr. Marko Davinic explained the optional course on Public Law and Gender Equality. All courses were commented on by Judge Ivana Jelic and Prof. Dr. Silke Laskowski of the University of Kassel. After a fruitful discussion and the finding that a future Master's programme must take into account the potential addressees and their needs, Prof. Laskowski gave a keynote presentation on the German situation of the political participation of women. She analysed the underrepresentation of women with a political mandate in the different federal states of Germany as well as the legal grounds for a change. Based on these statements, the panelists gave an insight in the national situation in Sweden (Prof. Dr. Maria Jansson of Örebrö University) and in France (Prof. Dr. Philippe Cossalter of Saarland University) during the panel discussion, comparing the Swedish voluntary quota system with the mandatory quota laws in France. The moderator, Prof. Dr. Thomas Giegerich, complemented the keynote with regard to the German situation and its European and international framework. Finally, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Susanne Strand presented the results of the Empirical Survey Tool, consisting of a desk analysis and a questionnaire) which analysed the status quo of gender equality among the staff at all respective faculties (Intellectual Output 2, IO2).
We thank all speakers and participants for the fruitful discussions and please note that as a follow-up, Prof. Dr. Thomas Giegerich and his team will compile the arguments and results of the panel discussion in an expert paper for his blog (blog | Jean-Monnet-Saar) available online via: Saar Expert Paper| Gender Equality and Gender Quotas for Political Participation in Europe: Comparative, International and Supranational Perspectives