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Merkel Has Failed to Close the Gender Gap in German Politics

  • Male candidates outnumber women this year by two to one
  • Merkel’s home in the former East has seen slowest gains
Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel

Photographer: Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg

A common quip among Germans in the run-up to this year’s federal election is to ask whether men have what it takes to be chancellor, but the reality is that women still have a tough time entering politics in Europe’s largest economy. 

Despite running Germany for 16 years, Angela Merkel has struggled to inspire the next generation of female politicians. And beyond the traditional gender divide, things are even worse. In this year’s election, only one non-binary person -- the first to be recognized as such -- is running for office out of more than 6,000 people.