In the German constitution it states that: “Men and women have equal rights. The state shall promote the actual enforcement of equal rights for women and men, and shall take steps to eliminate existing disadvantages.” Theoretically, that is great. But in order to implement this, the State’s decision-makers must be aware of where these disadvantages lie for women. That is often not the case, since the majority of politicians are still men, and they do not necessarily see which problems women have. The fact that the German Chancellor is a woman does not change this.
What applies to women also applies to girls. There are still many disadvantages for women and girls. For example, women earn less money than men for the same jobs and girls receive less pocket money than boys. Many women and girls are subject to sexual harassment and sexual violence. Girls also have their own problems. For instance, problems with school and education, with their parents and family, with friends, with oppression and the wish for freedom and self-realization, with their bodies, with love and sexuality.
That is why it is important that there are not only policies for women, but also for girls. To create policies focusing on girls means to defend the interests of girls. These policies should involve questions about how the problems of girls relate to problems in our society and what needs to change, so that these problems can be solved.
Policies focusing on girls advocate that girls’ interests are taken into consideration everywhere in our society. It is about reaching a level of awareness in the public and in politics, of what is important for girls and which problems and disadvantages they face. Such policies ensure equal rights for girls: That their rights are equally regarded as they are for boys. And, at the same time, in ensuring that the very special needs of young women are taken into consideration: That they can live and develop in a way which is best for them and a way which they chose.
In Frankfurt there is, for example, the “Women’s Unit” and the AG Mädchenpolitik, which was founded in 1989 by women from several projects and working groups related to this cause. We, from the FeM-Mädchenhaus, are also involved in policies focusing on girls, so that you can live in a city where as much as possible is done for you, your life and your future.