News about Equality at CRC 1342

Elections at the General Meeting

At this year's meeting of members on April 24, 2024, the board of the Collaborative Research Centre 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy" was elected in a new composition. The members of the Equal Opportunities Committee were also elected.

The CRC 1342 is headed by a board elected by the CRC members. The board makes decisions by simple majority and has a quorum if at least two thirds of the board members are present. On the board of directors, the spokesperson is responsible for the administration and management of the CRC. The deputy spokesperson and the representatives of the project directors focus on the coordination of the projects, the cooperation between the projects, and on the central database project.

The members of the board and further information can be found [here].

The EOC is a consultative member of the CRC 1342 board and advises CRC members on all recruitment procedures within the CRC. The EOC advocates gender equality and the reconciliation of professional and family activities. It also advises and informs all members of the CRC on these issues. Additionally, the EOC is in contact with the equal opportunities networks at the University of Bremen.

The members of the EOC and further information can be found [here].

Prof. Dr. Herbert Obinger
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58567

Thursday, March 14, 2024, from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Jade University of Applied Sciences in Wilhelmshaven.

Equal Care Day (ECD) regularly draws attention to the importance of a fair and equal distribution of care work. On February 29, this year's day of action of the Equal Care Day initiative will take place in many cities and virtually. Equal Care Day is an initiative of klische*esc e.V., a non-profit association for the promotion of freedom of choice beyond limiting role stereotypes.

The Equal Care Day initiative calls on people, institutions and associations worldwide to organize the Equal Care Day as an opportunity to once again draw attention to the lack of appreciation and unfair distribution of care work. The campaigns achieve this by using events, campaigns, manifestos and projects of all kinds to focus on the fact that care work and care, care workers and carers are all too often poorly rewarded or not rewarded at all in our society and the current economic system. With this in mind, an ECD festival will also be held in many places and on an online platform in 2024.

The organizers of the Equal Care Day Northwest 2024 Andrea Schäfer (University of Bremen), Nicole Biela (City of Wilhelmshaven) and Ann-Kathrin Cramer (District of Friesland) make it clear in the spirit of the ECD "Care work affects us all, sooner or later in the course of our lives, but we are confronted with very different regional structures and a social policy that only partially integrates care work in its concept. We have all been aware of the consequences for years, now there must finally be solutions. We want to discuss these together on March 14, 2024 at Equal Care Day Northwest 2024 with care workers, experts and decision-makers from politics and business and all interested, thus all who are dependent on care work as."

Equal Care Day Northwest 2024

Equal Care Day Northwest 2024 explores the question of "care work in the course of life" with a particular focus on care work in the various regions in the northwest - from Friesland to Wilhelmshaven to Bremen, in the cities and municipalities. This raises questions about possible solutions in the health and care system in the northwest region: What gaps in care and moral injuries arise in the face of reparative social policies and a view of the caring profession that socially marginalizes women and exposes them to ridicule. What does a model of preventative social policy that focuses on a new normality of gainful employment and care in the life course look like? Who are the people who work day and night in Germany's health and care system to ensure that we are well looked after, can recover or die with dignity? How can everyday life in care or the routines of care workers in the private sphere be made visible with the help of the carers? What operational and political options for action are there to change the working conditions in elderly care in a concrete and sustainable way? What are the needs of young carers and their families and what gaps are there in the support services in the regions? The network, which was founded specifically for this purpose, invites all interested to discuss, learn and experience together.

Program of the ECD Northwest 2024

(from 12:00 p.m.) Greetings

Ann-Kathrin Cramer (District of Friesland)

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Saß (Jade University of Applied Sciences)

Birgit Ahn (Metropolitan Region Northwest)


(from 12:15 p.m.) Can it happen to anyone? Care and nursing from a gender perspective

Reading by Monja Schünemann (medical historian and specialist nurse) from her book " Der Pflege-Tsunami. Wie Deutschland seine Alten und Kranken im Stich lässt."


(from 13:05) Das Optionszeitenmodell. Time for care, time for equality.

Keynote speech and discussion by Dr. Karin Jurczyk (Deputy Chairwoman of the German Society for Time Policy) and Prof. Ulrich Mückenberger (University of Bremen)


Parallel workshops from 14:15 (participation only possible on site)

o Concrete and sustainable improvement of working conditions in geriatric care - ideas for a relief and skilled worker offensive in the care sector

Workshop with keynote speech and discussion by Greta-Marleen Storath (Bremen Chamber of Employees)

o "That doesn't even exist!" Your improvised care story.

Workshop with methods of improvisational theater by Lena Breuer (actress, moderator and trainer from Cologne)

o Who cares? Who cares that we care?

Workshop with film screening and discussion by Ann-Kathrin Cramer (District of Friesland)

o Giving care. Getting help: Young carers

Workshop with researcher and committed people in dialog by Andrea Schäfer (University of Bremen) with Prof. Dr. Claudia Stoll (Bremen University of Applied Sciences)

The 'Equal Care Day Northwest 2024' network

The 'Equal Care Day Northwest 2024' network is a cooperation between Jade University of Applied Sciences, the University of Bremen, the district of Friesland and the city of Wilhelmshaven. Also involved in the network are the Bremen Chamber of Employees, the Friesland education region, the equal opportunities officers of the municipalities of Friesland, Zetel, Wangerland and Sande, the Agenda Varel association, the city of Jever and other committed individuals. The organizers are Andrea Schäfer (University of Bremen), Nicole Biela (City of Wilhelmshaven), Ann-Kathrin Cramer (District of Friesland) and Mareike Sprock (Jade University of Applied Sciences). Andrea Schäfer is organizing the ECD in Bremen for the fourth time.

Further information:

The Equal Care Day Northwest 2024 will take place on Thursday, March 14, 2024, from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Jade University of Applied Sciences in Wilhelmshaven. The event is open to the public, partly digital (12 to 2 p.m.) and free of charge. (event in German without translation)

You can register here.

Here you can find the flyer of the event! (only in German)

For further questions, please contact:

Andrea Schäfer
CRC 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy"
University of Bremen
phone: + 49 421 218-57095

Nicole Biela (Equal Opportunities Officer)
Stadt Wilhelmshaven
Rathausplatz 1
26382 Wilhelmshaven
phone: +49 4421 162302

Ann-Kathrin Cramer (Equal Opportunities Officer)
Landkreis Friesland
Lindenallee 1
26441 Jever
phone: +49 4461 919-6161


Andrea Schäfer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57095

The EOC shares the concerns and criticism regarding the BMBF's draft reform of the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG - German Act on Temporary Scientific Contracts)

The Equal Opportunity Committee (EOC) of the SFB 1342 shares the concerns and criticism regarding the BMBF's draft reform of the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG - German Act on Temporary Scientific Contracts) which have been expressed in various ways by academic mid-level staff and employee representatives. As a body within a large third-party-funded association, the EOC has a statutory responsibility to address issues of equality and anti-discrimination. With this statement, we aim to highlight the problems and challenges associated with both the current and the proposed new version of the WissZeitVG, particularly in relation to equality and anti-discrimination within third-party funded research networks.

  • Lack of equal treatment of early careers in the case of care obligations

In principle, it is commendable that the planned reform aims to address the lost qualification periods of third-party funded employees due to parental leave or care activities. However, the reform proposal falls short by only providing an extension for the first three years of the postdoc period. Overall, these proposals are far from sufficient to remedy the existing shortcomings. It is necessary to apply the care-compensating rules to all third-party funded employees. Furthermore, it is particularly problematic that the reduction of working hours due to childcare responsibilities (i.e., Elterngeld Plus Program) is not taken into account when calculating the qualification period. For example, a person who reduces their working hours to 50% for one year due to care obligations is still credited with a full year towards their maximum qualification period, rather than half a year, which would be fair in comparison to individuals without care obligations. Opting for the Elterngeld Plus Program thus becomes a significant disadvantage.

  • Intersectional Disadvantages of International Scholars and Scientists

The WissZeitVG is highly complex. The lack of transparency, varying interpretations at different university locations, and the absence of information in English are among the challenges that international early career scientists face. For instance, navigating through bureaucratic systems consumes a substantial amount of time and energy, hindering substantial research activities. Alongside everyday discrimination, intersectional disadvantages of various kinds arise in both private and work spheres. Given that Germany has a strong interest in attracting scientists worldwide, the WissZeitVG should acknowledge and address the intersectional challenges faced by international scientists in Germany. The described challenges are also a serious disadvantage in the global competition for the best minds.

  • Obstructed future perspectives within the research network

Post-docs who are appointed as Principal Investigators (PIs) in a subsequent phase of an SFB project, based on their excellent competency in the prior phase, usually require funding from federal states. However, according to the planned revision of the WissZeitVG, such positions are not possible anymore, despite the significant benefits their expertise brings to the research association. The example of the SFB 1342 highlights that it is predominantly women who, as post-docs, assume the responsibility for a sub-project as (co-)PIs.

  • Discrimination against individuals who have worked in scientific positions in Germany

The non-transparent and often inconsistent interpretation of which periods are recognized as qualification periods leads to unequal treatment of qualification periods completed in Germany compared to those completed abroad, as the latter are generally not credited. This places individuals who have solely pursued their academic career in Germany at a disadvantage compared to those with professional experience abroad. This discrepancy particularly affects individuals with care obligations, who may have limited mobility compared to those without care responsibilities.

Equal Opportunities Committee:


A group of researchers from the CRC 1342 and BIGSSS attended a two-day workshop given by Dr Saskia Schottelius on “The Art of Self-Presenting for Female Scientists”.

The workshop covered several aspects related to self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-presentation.

A group of researchers from the CRC 1342 and BIGSSS attended a two-day workshop given by Dr Saskia Schottelius on “The Art of Self-Presenting for Female Scientists”. The workshop covered several aspects related to self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-presentation; focussing particularly on the additional challenges that women encounter in academic institutions that have historically been dominated by men. Through theoretical inputs, practical exercises, and peer-to-peer coaching, the participants were able to reflect on their own strengths and goals, while benefiting from the mutual encouragement provided by the group. The many themes covered will require continuous practice, and the participating researchers agreed that the workshop had benefited them for their academic paths going forward.

Dr. Anna Wolkenhauer
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57099

Kristin Noack (left) and Johanna Fischer
Kristin Noack (left) and Johanna Fischer
Johanna Fischer and Kristin Noack report on their experiences with a presentation workshop adressing women in science specifically.

At the end of September, Saskia Schottelius offered her 2-day workshop "The Art of Self-Presenting for Female Scientists" at CRC 1342. Why did you decide to participate?

Kristin Noack: I was interested in the workshop because presentations are not my favorite situations. And I especially liked the fact that the course was specifically aimed at women who feel the same way.

Johanna Fischer: Presentations are an important part of our scientific work. I feel very comfortable in small groups, but sometimes I'm nervous in larger rooms where I don't know the exact audience. In this respect, I had the feeling that I could learn a lot in the workshop, or that I could certainly turn off things that had crept in.

What did the trainer do with you during the two days?

Fischer: At the beginning we concentrated on language and made sure to speak positively. For example, we did an exercise where we had to write down adjectives for each letter of the alphabet that could be applied positively to strong women. We reflected on this later in order to become aware of our strengths. Then we did many exercises for speaking. We had to present different things to our counterpart - e.g. about how to start consciously, or time management. Other topics were body language and voice exercises, especially how to find your voice.

Was that already specially designed for women?

Fischer: Not during the vocal exercises. But we also dealt with the Imposter Syndrome. According to surveys, female scientists and female leaders feel much more often and more strongly taht they are impostors, they do not assess their skills positively and tend to pay attention to deficits. Although nobody can be 100 percent perfect, women often perceive it in such a way that they still have to be perfect for their job. Men often think, "I can only do it 60 percent, but that's okay. That's what we've been talking about, including dominant speaking behaviour in groups.

Noack: On the second day almost every one of us gave a presentation. The audience had to pay attention to certain things and give feedback. And the feedback, it was agreed beforehand, should focus on the positive aspects, but still be serious and sincere. In a scientific context, you often focus on the negative things, and that of course promotes certain insecurities. In this respect, it was encouraging to get some positive things reflected about our way of presentation. On the second day we also did meditation exercises and some Tai Chi and Qigong.

Which of the contents were most beneficial to you? Which ones will you try to implement?

Fischer: The so-called Pre-Introduction was very helpful when it came to the structure of a presentation. In the beginning of a presentation the audience often doesn't listen at all, which is why a short introduction to the topic, e.g. with something rather general or an anecdote, can be helpful. I will try to include this in my next presentation.

Noack: We were a very mixed group: a few women from the SFB, but also some from marum and BIGSSS with different scientific foci. I found it very empowering to be in such a group. We were so very different scientists, but there are topics that concern us all. And being a good scientist can mean different things. What I am trying to do is to pay more attention to what is going well, because you are often too hard on yourself. The workshop gave me some ideas.

Did you also talk about differences between men and women?

Fischer: We talked about speaking behaviour. Many men think they have something to say in discussions and have to speak up, even if they are not experts on the subject themselves. But we also said that as women we do not necessarily want to copy that.

Noack: Most of the time it was not about reproducing stereotypes either, but about reflecting on ourselves and our behaviour. And to try out and practice certain things for ourselves. During the workshop the focus was on us as female scientists.