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Post-Communist Feminism in Germany: Equality and Difference in the Party of Democratic Socialism

Pamela Fisher

Abstract

In December 1989, the ruling communist party of East Germany,

the Socialist Unity Party (SED), was reconstituted when it adopted the

name Socialist Unity Party-Party of Democratic Socialism (SED-PDS),

which was simplified on 4 February 1990 to the Party of Democratic

Socialism.1 The brand of Marxism-Leninism that had prevailed in the

German Democratic Republic (GDR) appeared to be irredeemably

discredited, and the new leadership of this successor party was

obliged to create an alternative vision of socialism and to redefine

their political goals. The PDS program of 1990,2 with its clear adoption

of a feminist agenda, constituted a breach with the party’s political

past. Whereas the Marxist-Leninist theory underpinning SED

policy had been based on the principle that inequality is economically

determined, the new PDS program acknowledged patriarchy

as a separate issue.

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