Some readers find Merkel’s new cabinet a step back for women, while others are ecstatic

When this cute millennial magazine posted a story on how German Chancellor Angela Merkel came to form a cabinet with a cabinet-to-be men for the first time in history, it made a lot of waves around the world. The phrase “Guido Grindel calls it a ‘historical event’ that will shift the world “” resonated with readers around the world. Many readers had a lot to say on Facebook, Facebook groups and elsewhere about how it was a big step forward in female empowerment. One Facebook user even took a picture of herself in a newsstand with her 9-year-old niece and wrote: “We still have a lot of work to do”

Nine years after entering office, Merkel did not form a center-right or center-left government, and she did not install a quota for women in her cabinet. Some were disappointed in her choice for finance minister, who is the first woman to serve as head of Germany’s central bank. Merkel said the choice of the former Bundesbank chief was a guarantee for the stability of the German economy and the euro, but it was widely considered a mistake because of the Fed’s accusations last year that German officials had helped bank bailouts in the U.S. undermine growth.

“A stoush ensued between the Federal Reserve and German Finance Ministry officials over if and how all bailout programs should be treated as clearly constituted fiscal transfers that would in turn trigger German constitutional amendments, which were specifically banned to protect individual rights,” the German newspaper Die Zeit wrote. “This is to say, [the Fed’s criticism] was intended to discredit the chancellor of Germany who makes good decisions, but on the contrary, it has strengthened her hand.”

The women in the cabinet include a number of men who have previously worked with the chancellor. This may be the only chance she has for several years that women in Germany will make up 50 percent of her cabinet.

Also in this edition of Women and Power:

Focus turns to how trans states are gaining momentum to legalize gay marriage in Virginia, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

A fun fact about First Lady Melania Trump as the clock ticks toward the open letter of women demanding access to reproductive healthcare and advocating for equal pay in President Trump’s administration.

A look at how the new administration has rolled back Obama-era rules supporting women in the workplace.

What to read

A huge 100 percent write-in campaign aimed at getting German journalists in Washington to re-think their coverage of “Guido Grindel” went viral on Facebook. Here’s how the L.A. Times described it: “On New Year’s Eve, hundreds of Germans vented their anger by writing the words “Guido Grindel is a N—-” and pointing a finger at him across their nation’s Facebook page, in the form of a story titled ‘Guido Grindel strikes back.’ Facebook users turned 2015 calls to oust Grindel into a mini social media outrage fest, posting satirical headlines like ‘Berlin Pilot Grindel Will Not Fly,’ and ‘He Will Not Afford to Inject His Wife into a drug-resistant STD.'”

This research-led study on how the European Union chooses which health sectors are government-funded has raised eyebrows in America.

Readers say the Trump administration has made girls feel uncomfortable in school. A Texas pastor came out against the administration’s latest so-called school dress code.

How should we view brainstorms as leaders mull ideas for policies? Why not think more deeply and second-by-second?

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