Dubbed the 'World's most powerful woman', is Angela Merkel a role model for German women?

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Angela Merkel may be Germany's first female chancellor, but her gender is not something she has ever put forward, in either fashion or policy. The pantsuit-wearing leader has avoided describing herself as a feminist throughout most of her public life. As she prepares to leave the country’s leadership, some say her efforts to improve the situation of women have largely been slow in coming.

Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel has been called the “World's most powerful woman” and a model for many in Germany.

Even for young women in Prenzlauer Berg, a fashionable Berlin neighbourhood whose voters lean left, and who grew up with Merkel leading the country, she nevertheless broke the glass ceiling.

“She's a strong, in-charge woman, who faced a lot of challenges," one young female told FRANCE 24's Nick Spicer.

“The mere fact that she became Chancellor has shown us what we can do as women,” another one added

But as Merkel comes to the end of her leadership of the county, which began in 2005, one question being asked is: did she fight for the causes of women?

On the one hand more German women are working, but there's still an overall 18 percent pay gap with men. In addition, it was only in 2020 that she accepted the idea of imposing a quota to have a certain number of women on company boards in large companies.

As such, it's a bit of a mixed record, says the federation of women entrepreneurs.

>> As Germany's general elections near, things are going wrong for the right

Click on the player above to watch out correspondent Nick Spicer’s special report from Berlin.

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