1. Europe

    Germany’s Woman Workers Lag Behind

    People walk along Kurfuerstendamm avenue on April 27, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Kurfuerstendamm, known locally as Ku'damm and which is the shopping and cultural heart of west Berlin, is turning 125 years old this year. City authorities are planning a series of  events and exhibitions to mark the annivrsary starting in May. The the avenue has existed as a thoroughfare since the 17th century, though its pavement was first completed in 1886. During World War II many of the buildings along its route were destroyed by Allied bombing, resulting in an architectural mix today that blends pre-war and post-war, especially 1960s and 1970s, architecture.

    Sean Gallup / Getty Images

    Germany’s most powerful person, Angela Merkel, may be female, but the average German woman trails far behind her male counterparts in the workplace. Just 2 percent of German business executives are women, far fewer than the 17 percent in Sweden or 14 percent in the United States. The country is now debating affirmative-action measures: The Dax 30 index, for example, recently announced a voluntary goal for all its companies to have 30 percent female managers by 2015. Merkel, despite her own profile, has never championed gender equality as an issue.

    Read it at The New York Times