The issue of gender equality has received more attention in recent years. In June 2016, the study Women in Culture and Media by the German Cultural Council was published, which contains data on the proportion of women in the various branches of culture, on the radio, in training and in management positions, as well as the presentation of the legal instruments of the gender equality policy in Germany and recommendations for action.
The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) has made gender justice in art, culture and the media one of the main concerns of its policy. In the coalition agreement, the government parties undertook to “further develop equality and gender equality in art, culture and the media”. This applies to management positions, the appointment of juries and committees as well as decisions on grants or grants. The specific measures include the Round Table Women in Culture in the Media (2016) launched by the BKM, the establishment of a Women in Culture and the Media project office at the German Cultural Council (2017), the establishment of a mentoring programme for women (2018), the issuing of data reports (e.g. How feminine is the cultural industry?), the commissioning of further studies (e.g. Women in Culture and Media: A European Comparison (2017), the family-friendly design of scholarships and prizes (e.g. in the Villa Massimo) and the establishment of an independent trust centre against sexual abuse and violence (2018).
Women artists have founded their own networks and associations to represent their interests and to exchange information. GEDOK, which was founded in 1926 as a community of German and Austrian artists’ associations of all art genres, is one of the cross-divisional associations. Its goal today is to present the work and achievements of artists through exhibitions, events, etc. and to improve the special life and work situation of artists. GEDOK is committed to gender-sensitive design of all areas of cultural life. Its instruments include awarding prizes and holding competitions. In addition, there are sector-specific networks such as the BücherFrauen (since 1990), the archive Frau und Musik (since 1979), Pro Quote Regie and Pro Quote Medien (since 2012).
The Gabriele Münter Prize should be highlighted in the price landscape at the federal level. It is awarded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citzens, Women and Youth in cooperation with the BBK, GEDOK and the Bonn Women’s Museum. It is an art prize endowed with 20,000 EUR for the lifework of professional artists aged 40 and over.
Institutions for promoting equality have also been established at the state and local levels, such as the NRW Women’s Cultural Office, founded in 1991. Its aim is to make women more visible, through (among other things) the NRW Artists’ Awards, scholarships, the implementation of further training and the publication of studies (e.g. on the participation of women in NRW: Women in art and culture – Between new self-confidence and quota promotion). The world’s first women’s museum was also founded in Bonn in 1981, and since its existence 3000 works by artists have been shown in more than 700 exhibitions. In the meantime, women’s museums have also been opened in Berlin, Bremen and Wiesbaden. Also worth mentioning is the International Women’s Film Festival Dortmund Cologne. The festival emerged from the film festivals Femme fatale (Dortmund) and Feminale (Cologne) and was founded in the 1980s and, in addition to the annual international competition, focuses on networking for women of different branches of the film industry.