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"Why Germany needs quotas for women!" In the wake of the publication of a government report on gender equality — an issue that the ministers for family affairs and labour have promised to make a priority — Der Spiegel announces its support for the introduction of quotas to appoint more women to top-level corporate jobs. The authors of the article highlight the case of the Spiegel editorial committee, which is marked by a significant lack of gender parity: "Of the 34 section heads, only two are women. And there are more male homosexuals in senior editing positions than there are women."

Elsewhere in the country, women occupy just 2.2% of the seats on the governing boards of Germany’s top-100 companies. All of this raises the issue of the difficulties faced by women in their attempt to balance family and career obligations. As it stands the German government has no plans to follow in the footsteps of its neighbours: Norway has already succeeded in imposing a 40% quota, France and Spain have pledged to achieve 40% by 2015, the Netherlands is preparing to introduce a 30% quota, and the European Commission has warned that it will take the initiative if national governments in other EU states do not act to raise the number of women on governing boards by 2011.