Legal Framework of Our Work
This English translation is only intended to help non-German speakers better understand their rights to equality and non-discrimination, as well as the legal basis of the position of Women’s Representatives. Any discrepancies or differences that may arise in this translation of the official German version of these materials are not binding and have no legal standing.
The job of the Women’s Representatives at universities is fundamentally based on Section 3 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany (in German). More specifically, the Women’s Representatives of the University of Bamberg are regulated by university legislation, the constitution of the University of Bamberg, and additional guidelines of the university.
Excerpts from the Framework Act for Higher Education
The following excerpts are from §§ 3, 6, 34 from the version of 19 January 1999 (BGB1. I S. 18), last amended through article one of the law on 27 December 2004 (BGB1. I S. 3835) with consideration of the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court made on 26 January 2005 (2 BvF 1/03).
The complete text of the German version can be downloaded from the website of the Federal Ministry of Science.
§ 3 Equal Opportunity for Women and Men
(1) Universities promote the enforcement of equal opportunity for women and men and work toward eliminating existing disadvantages.
(2) State law regulates the tasks and participatory rights of the Women’s Representatives and Equal Opportunity Representatives of universities.
§ 6 Evaluation of the Research, Teaching, and Promotion of Early-Career Academics and Gender Equality
(1) The work of universities in research and teaching, in promoting early-career academics, and in fulfilling the gender equality mandate should be regularly assessed. (2) Students should be involved in evaluating the quality of teaching. (3) The results of the evaluations should be published.
§ 34 Anti-Discrimination Policy
There should be no disadvantages for applicants based on:
(1) the fulfillment of official duties pursuant to Article 12a of the Basic Federal Law and the acceptance of such official duties and corresponding services for a period of up to three years,
(2) service as a development worker according to the Development Aid Act of 18 June 1969 (BGBI. I p. 549), as last amended by Article 15 of the law from 21 June 2002 (BGBI. I p. 2167),
(3) the performance of a voluntary social work year in accordance with the Law on the Promotion of a Voluntary Social Work Year of 17 August 1964 (BGBI. I p. 640), as last amended on 15 July 2002 (BGBI. I p. 2596), or a voluntary ecological year according to the Law on the Promotion of a Voluntary Ecological Year of 17 December 1993 (BGBI. I p. 2118), as last amended on 15 July 2002 (BGBI. I p. 2600), or within the context of a model project funded by the Federal Government, or
(4) the responsibility to care for a child under the age of 18 or sick or elderly relatives for up to three years. If ranking is equal according to § 32 paras. 2 and 3, the applicants relevant to sentence 1 have priority.
Excerpts from the Bavarian Higher Education Act
Excerpts from the Bavarian Higher Education Act on the scope of responsibility of the Women's Representatives. The complete text (in German) of the law can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Science.
Art. 4 Equal Opportunity for Women and Men, Women’s Representative
(1) 1 Universities promote the effective enforcement of equal opportunity for women and men and utilize this as a guiding principle; they work toward eliminating existing disadvantages. 2 In order to ensure equal opportunity for women and men, women are accommodated with priority based upon suitability, qualifications, and professional performance (Art. 33 Para. 2 of the Basic Federal Law). 3 The aim of the funding is to increase the ratio of women at all levels of academia.
(2) 1 Women's Representatives are responsible for the prevention of disadvantages for female academics, teachers, and students; They support the university by carrying out their tasks in accordance with Para. 1. 2 Women’s Representatives are elected for the entire university by the senate and for the faculty by the faculty council from among the full-time academic and artistic staff of the university. 3 The Women's Representative elected to the entire university belongs to the extended university administration and the senate and the Women's Representative elected to the faculties belongs to the faculty council and the appointment committees as voting members (Art. 18 para. 4 sent. 2 BayHSchPG). 4 Additionally, the university constitution regulates the participation of the Women's Representative in other committees; the constitution can also require for Deputy Women's Representatives to be appointed for Women’s Representatives.
(3) 1 The university provides the Women’s Representatives of the university and the faculties with adequate funds for the effective fulfillment of their tasks. 2 Taking into account the scope of their responsibilities, Women's Representatives are to be relieved of other official duties for the duration of their work.
(4) Fair representation of women and men in the university body should be strived for.
(5) Legal requirements for Women’s Representatives also apply to male Women’s Representatives.
Excerpts from the Bavarian Act of Higher Education Personnel
Excerpts from the Bavarian Act of Higher Education Personnel on voting rights and special voting rights of the Women's Representatives for each faculty. The complete text (in German) of the law can be viewed on the website of the Ministry of Science.
Art. 18 The Appointment of Male and Female Professors and Male and Female Assistant Professors
(4) 1 The Faculty Council, in agreement with university administration, forms an appointment committee in preparation for the appointment proposal. 2 In this committee, professors have the majority of the votes; in addition, the respective Women's Representative, one representative from the group of academic and artistic staff (Art. 17 Para. 2 Clause 1 No. 2 BayHSchG), and one representative of the student body are entitled to vote. 3 At least one external member of the appointment committee should be a professor. 4 If tasks at the university hospital are associated with the open professorship, the medical director or a qualified person designated by him or her is authorized to attend the meetings of the appointment committee in an advisory capacity. 5 The appointment committee should draw up an appointment proposal containing three names based on external and comparative assessments; for artistic professorships at art universities, external assessments are sufficient. 6 The appointment proposal can also contain names of people who have not applied if their consent has been provided. 7 When preparing the appointment proposal, efforts should be made to increase the ratio of women in academia. 8 When appointing a professorship, current internal members of the university should only be included in the appointment proposal under justified exceptional circumstances. 9 Current internal assistant professors can be included in an appointment proposal for the filling of professorships; however, this is only permitted in special cases if they were already a member of the university when they were appointed as an assistant professor. 10 The Dean of Studies should, and the representatives of the students in the Faculty Council may, comment on the skills and experience of professorship applicants. 11 In the appointment proposal, the professional, pedagogical, and personal suitability of each applicant must be assessed in detail and in a comparative manner so that the chosen order is justified. 12 The individual members of the appointment committee who have voting rights, as well as the professors of the relevant faculties, can submit a special vote that must be attached to the appointment proposal. 13 The university constitution can provide more detailed rules for the preparation of an appointment proposal.
Excerpt of the constitution of the University of Bamberg
Complete Text: Constitution (only German)
Chapter Five: Women’s Representative
Section One: Joint Regulations
§ 29 Responsibilities
(1) 1 Women's Representatives are responsible for the prevention of disadvantages for female academics, teachers, and students; they support the university by carrying out their responsibilities of promoting the enforcement of equal opportunity for women and men and working toward the elimination of existing disadvantages. 2 Within the context of legal requirements, Women's Representatives are specifically responsible for:
- accepting suggestions and complaints,
- creating plans for the advancement of women and working toward the implementation of such plans,
- creating reports on the circumstances of female academics, teachers, and students at the university,
- managing the education and public relations within and beyond the university.
(2) 1The University-wide Women's Representative is a voting member of the advisory committees set up by the Senate. 2The University-wide Women's Representative or the Women's Representative of the respective faculty is a voting member of a committee in accordance with Article 19 para. 6 sent. 1 of the BayHSchG. 3The Women's Representative of the faculty is a voting member of committees in accordance with Article 31 para. 3 of the BayHSchG. 4The position of the University-wide Women's Representative and that of the Women's Representative of the faculty can be carried out by two people of equal ranking.
(3) 1A Deputy Women's Representative is appointed at the university. 2If the Women's Representative is indisposed, she is represented by the Deputy Women's Representative.
(4) Under exceptional circumstances, male Women's Representatives can be appointed with the approval of the Women's Affairs Advisory Board, particularly if no female Women's Representative is available.
Section Two: The Women’s Representative of the University
§ 30 Election, Term in Office, and Responsibilities
(1) 1Based on a proposal by the Women's Affairs Advisory Board, the University-wide Women's Representative and Deputy Women’s Representative are elected by the senate in a secret election of the female full-time academic and artistic staff. 2 More information on the election process can be found in sections 15 to 18.
(2) 1The Women's Affairs Advisory Board is comprised of:
- the University-wide Women’s Representative as the chairperson,
- the Deputy University-wide Women’s Representatives,
- the Women’s Representatives of the Faculties,
- two female students chosen by the student body.
Under urgent circumstances, the Women's Affairs Advisory Board is represented by the University-wide Women's Representative.
(3) 1 The position of the University-wide Women’s Representative is a two-year term. 2If a Women's Representative leaves the position prematurely, the successor's term begins with the announcement of the election results. 3 The term ends at the end of the semester at which point a two-year term has been completed. 4Reelection is possible.
(4) 1The University-wide Women's Representative advises university administration on matters affecting female academics, teachers, and students. 2 She reports to the senate once a year on the circumstances of female academics, teachers, and students at the university and suggests ways to avoid disadvantages for female academics, teachers, and students.
Section Three: The Women’s Representative of the Faculty
§ 31 Election and Term in Office
(1) 1The Women's Representative of the Faculty and Deputy Women’s Representative of the Faculty are elected by the faculty council through a proposal from a committee made up of female full-time academic and artistic staff of the university. 2The summons for committee meetings is carried out by the Women's Representative; if no Women’s Representative exists, this task is carried out by the dean. 3At the request of the dean, the University-wide Women's Representative, a person proposed for the election of the Women's Representative of the Faculty, or the Deputy Women’s Representative, the Women's Affairs Advisory Board must be heard before the start of the election if there is an important reason. 4The University-wide Women's Representative decides whether there is an important reason.
(2) The committee is comprised of:
- the full-time female teaching staff of the faculty,
- the full-time female academic staff of the faculty,
- two female students chosen by the student body.
(3) § 30 para. 3 applies accordingly
The German Research Foundation (DFG) promotes excellent research. It is committed to equal opportunity and diversity in all funding processes, especially because the insufficient contributions of women in the German research system means a loss of excellence and efficiency.
The DFG and its members launched a promising initiative to promote gender equality in research in summer 2008: Equality Standards for Research (in English).
The University of Bamberg has also set a goal of meeting these standards. Here you will find the final report of the German Research Foundation’s Equality Standards for Research at the University of Bamberg (only German).
This policy was enacted by the XXIII Senate in its tenth meeting on 17 July 2019. It contains an analysis of the current situation, from which goals and measures for equal opportunity for men and women have been derived, which are to be implemented over the next five years within the validity period of the policy. The implementation of equal opportunity for men and women is a legal mandate that we fulfill by implementing this policy.
Guidelines for Equal Opportunity for Women and Men in Academia (only in German)
- This includes the following topics:
- Introduction: Goals and Justification
- 1. Analysis of current gender equality within the university as a whole
- 2. Gender equality within the academic field and among students
- 3. Gender equality within academic support
- 4. Measures to update policies and the monitoring process
- Introduction: Goals and Justification
The overall goal of this regulation is to ensure equal opportunity for women and men at the university and to eliminate existing disadvantages.
An important step for equality work was also establishing formal assistance and preventative measures at the University of Bamberg. The University of Bamberg wants to use the Guidelines for Respecting Boundaries to make it transparent for everyone how to deal with cases of harassment, discrimination, bullying, and stalking and how preventive measures can be taken.
Full English Text: Guidelines for Respecting Boundaries
Maternity Protection Act
The new Maternity Protection Act (in German) was initiated on 01.01.2018. This law now includes pregnant and breastfeeding students. The regulations and protective policies of the law are only applicable if you communicate the fact that you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. We therefore ask you to contact the Family Services Office of the University of Bamberg as early as possible, because they are the central point of contact for all pregnant and breastfeeding students.