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Germany

  • By: Sonja M. Allen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

During the last two centuries, motherhood in Germany has changed drastically from the traditional role of home parenting and taking care of household and children, to a new model of working motherhood that involves sharing housework with a partner. The kindergarten movement and the three waves of feminism have played a role in this process, as have World Wars I and II, during which time the available male population declined drastically and women had to join the workforce.

Motherhood was further defined by the reunification of the opposing political systems in the former Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). How recent government initiatives—including ad campaigns to make motherhood more attractive—impact motherhood in Germany in the future remains to be seen. ...

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