Mothers manifesto

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The Mothers' Manifesto is a manifesto from 1986 (published in 1987), which was published by a dozen women from the Green environment with the aim of changing living conditions in the Federal Republic of Germany in favor of people who live with children . At the time, new approaches to thinking emerged, but critics viewed them as revisionist . This led to a wide social debate.


The publication was preceded by the organisationally and financially supported by the Greens congress "Living with Children - Mothers Be Loud" on 22. – 23. November 1986 in Bonn-Beuel , attended by 500 mothers and 200 children. The manifest is a documentation of the results of the conference.


  • The manifest called for a basic security without connection to employment as well as the ideal upgrading of housework and upbringing.
  • It called for a new image of emancipation: "It is time for a new women's movement , a movement that represents the reality, the wishes and hopes of mothers with children as consistently and emphatically as the interests of childless women" (p. 1).
  • The women no longer wanted to make themselves dependent on the men’s "snail's pace" with regard to their participation in family work. They bet on the “public living room”, the mothers center.


The first signatories included:

Patricia Langen (Aachen), Ursula Rieger, Eva-Maria Epple (both Berlin), Gaby Potthast (Bochum), Margit Marx, Jutta Schlepütz-Schroeder, Eva Kandler, Dorothee Pass-Weingartz , Gisela Klausmann, Renate Jirmann, Christa Nickels (all Bonn), Hedwig Ortmann (Bremen), Barbara Köster (Frankfurt), Hannelore Weskamp (Hamburg), Inge Meta-Hülbusch (Kassel), Gisela Erler (Kelheim), Dorothea Calabrese (Cologne), Monika Jaeckel, Greta Tüllmann (both Munich) , Hildegard Schooß (Salzgitter)

Media coverage and criticism

The document met with a great response from the public and was discussed controversially in the mass media as well as in the parties and groups of the women's movement. In feminist and left-wing circles, the demarcation from the feminist model of emancipation and the turn against the “ghetto of non-mothers” and the “aquarium of career women” were viewed critically.


The result was a violent dispute over the direction of the party women of the Greens. In a u. a. "Statement of Green Women on the Mothers Manifesto" (Die Grünen 1987), signed by the members of the Bundestag Marieluise Beck and Verena Krieger and the State Working Group Women of the Greens in Lower Saxony, says: "We regret that the mothers' manifesto links the legitimate concerns of mothers with an image of women that we have been fighting for years. ”(p. 4).


  • "Living with children - women become loud": Das Müttermanifest , Selbstverlag, Bonn 1987
  • Statement by green women on the mothers manifesto, in: Marieluise Beck-Oberdorf u. a. (Ed.): Where is the happiness of women? New ways between work and children, Cologne 1988, pp. 125–128


  • Dorothee Pass-Weingartz, Gisela Erler (Ed.): Mothers to power. The new women's movement. Rowohlt 1989, ISBN 3-499-12513-7
  • Angelika Ebbinghaus : The Mothers Manifesto. A variant of population policy. In: 1999. Journal for Social History of the 20th and 21st Century . Volume 3. Hamburg 1987, pp. 4-7
  • Elke Ostwaldt: Green women between psycho and politics? The disputes over the green mothers manifesto. 1989, ISBN 3-927413-01-1
  • Gaby Brüssow: The internal party dispute over the “Mothers Manifesto” (1987) and its consequences for green women's policy, in: Dies .: Women's policy. On the relationship between women and politics using the example of women's organizations of the SPD and the Greens , Waxmann, 1996, pp. 82–100

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