Since 30 years the Women Divorced in the GDR are fighting for pension justice. They had been cut off 1/3rd of their pensions esteeming from special temporary measures balancing women’s de facto inequality by being the unpaid Care Worker at home as a woman, wife and mother which the GDR had provided for guaranteeing equal pensions. These options, to reduce weekly work hours or even stay totally at home for a couple of years, and when returning to fulltime work not having lost the level of the before earned pension amount had not been accepted and not transferred during the unity when the very different Eastern and Western pensions had been merged in the one current system. Finally, Care work at that time had not been counted for pension in the Western pension systems under which regime and rules the Easter women and men’s pension had been adjusted.
First in City Groups, than since 1999 in the registered national Association of Women Divorced in the GDR they had gone through all national legal remedies and had not left out any way of political protest, advocacy or campaigns since 1989. 2017 the UN Committee of the binding International UN human rights treaty Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination of Women (CEDAW) called the Germany government urgently for to implement a financial compensation scheme for these women. 2018 the first government started to draft such a model, but diminished it to only a ‘hardship funds’ in which also many other targeted groups should get a once-for-all payment. Until today only 50% (1 BILL EUR) for the funds has been budgeted from the federal level in the 2022/23 budget. The Laender had not decided to contribute their share of 50%.
So again, only a slide chance stays to get a very minor payment very much below what the UN CEDAW still expects Germany would do to compensate these women’s pension discrimination and re-establish at least some justice. The women still fight, hope, to be not left behind and without justice. But it is obvious that the human rights call from the UN is not unfolding its legal binding impact. Even thou Germany and its government want to be pro human rights in this case of once 800.000 , now may be about 100.000 women the responsible politicians of the Laender are not very eager to act on behalf of their obligations. It needs some pushes and solidarity.
Johanna Weinhold, journalist of MDR and author of a book on this and many related cases “Die betrogene Generation, Berlin 2020” introduces in the cases and background since she followed it as a media professional many years. Gregor Gysi, Member of Parliament (The Left) reflects from the perspective of the opposition which always had claimed justice for this women and other groups with pension cuts under the unity. The show includes tree interviews with three of the targeted women who since a long time had been activists for their cause, Hanna Kirchner, Helga Töpke and Margit Wolf. Nika Dubrowsky, artist, who works on the women’s case sees it in the broader context of ignorance towards the value of unpaid or underpaid care work and other discrimination against women who divorce and with this deny locality to patriarchy. The Feminist Library MONALiesA in Leipzig explains why the archives of the women’s Association of 33 years are such a rich source for Herstory and future generation of readers and researchers.
The music of the show demonstrates that the fight of divorce resulting discrimination and poverty of women and pension injustice against women is an international recognised issues, at least among female musicians.

[DIVORCE IS NOT A CRIME #1 was broadcasted June 12, 2022]