YCW Germany: A National Action Group on Gender Equality

As in every other part of the world, gender inequality is a reality in Germany, a European country with a population of over 83 million. Before the German YCW held its National Action Days in 2017, the movement had already pinpointed gender as one aspect leading to inequalities in society and felt the need to deepen its analysis on the issue. Its concrete starting point was the reflection in its action group on precarious work, which had identified the connection between precarious work and gender. Decision was made to set up a national action group on gender equality.

The mixed group of 14 young women and 6 young men, coming from different backgrounds and from all over Germany, started meeting three times a year to reflect on their realities of life and on testimonies from people within and outside the group.

Considering the huge number of topics linked to the gender issue, they divided the group into several working groups, tasked with analyzing specific topics. Those workshops met on a regular basis to exchange information and analyze the common realities and topics, using statistics, articles, …

Gender has become an increasingly important topic in the movement and in society in general. The aim of the national action group was to empower the group members to take action in their personal environment and to improve society, based on their vision of a gender equitable world.

YCW Germany wants to have a sustainable impact in society, raise awareness about discrimination and gender inequalities, including within the movement, and ensure individual empowerment of the members to make small changes in their personal surroundings.

The demands identified include upgrading care work, breaking down gender roles, resolutely confronting sexualized violence, and shaping dignified working conditions in care and social services.

Their demands are directed towards the society as a whole. Regional actions have been started by members of the group, and the national movement has been using its social media channels (Instagram, website, Facebook, Newsletter) to draw attention to its positions and actions.

The movement has taken part in European seminars, in an international exchange on gender equality, and it has brought its position to conferences with other movements.

The results of the action are already tangible: individual learning and growing awareness in the personal and direct environment, empowerment of members who start their own actions in their regions, new members joining the action and the movement.

After several years of a very strong and active national action group with impact on all the levels of the movement, the group has decided to stop working in this form and has handed the topic to the regional levels and the national coordination. The action group has opened the path to more reflections, given options for action to the whole national movement and, most important, trained men and women to be fighters for gender equality in their environment and in the world. YCW Germany is planning to formulate further concrete demands in the future and to take further action to make gender equality a reality.

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We are JOC Europe!

YCW Europe is a youth movement, organizing people all over the continent, giving them a space to become aware of their realities and be actors of change in society. Our philosophy is education through action, which means that in YCW young people start from their realities of life, their experiences, and aspirations, analyze it together with others, reflect and take action to change what causes injustices. We are anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-capitalist.

The YCW uses the method of SEE (analysis), JUDGE (reflection) and ACT to bring about change. We meet to analyse the collective problems that young people face in their work and daily lives. In doing so, young people become more aware of their situation and discover what they want to change to create a society that reflects the values of solidarity and human dignity.

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