GERMANY IS “EXPERIENCING A NEW NORMALITY”. This is how the renowned Hamburg-based weekly newspaper Die Zeit describes the fact that more and more women are taking the top political jobs in Germany’s Länder (states). After Christine Lieberknecht (CDU) in Thuringia, Hannelore Kraft (SPD) in North Rhine-Westphalia and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) in Saarland, Malu Dreyer (SPD, photograph) was the fourth woman to be elected Minister-President of a German state – in Rhineland-Palatinate in January 2013. When asked how she differed from her predecessor, Kurt Beck, Malu Dreyer said: “I’m a different generation, a woman, so I do things differently. I listen to people and try to also incorporate new things.” Although they belong to different parties, what the four female minister-presidents have in common is self-confidence, competence and credibility – in short, an unflustered political style that focuses more on content than on decibels. This is well received by voters: the new female minister-presidents top the popularity polls in their respective states.
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