Opposition politicians dominated Thursday's parliamentary debate, calling for a legal quota of at least 30 percent of women in managerial positions. One party only sent women members to the Bundestag to mark the day.
But Kristina Schröder said, “I think the different positions are clear – we thus do not need to and will not talk about it.”
The first gender equality report from the government showed that a voluntary agreement made nine years ago by many companies to promote more women had made little difference.
Yet Schröder said great progress had been made on gender equality in the past year and a legal quota was not needed to help women further.
Schröder's colleague in the ruling Christian Democratic Union, Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen, is among many prominent women from politics, business and cultural circles who have signed the “Berlin Declaration” calling for a 30 percent female management quota in publicly-owned organisations and leading firms.
Renate Künast, head of the Greens' parliamentary party said it was unacceptable that women were still being paid worse than men, and called for payment rules to include gender equality.
Schröder was also booked to hand out this year's “Top Fathers of the Year” awards on Thursday, to two men who have taken on the responsibility for their children, enabling their wives to pursue their careers, according to the taz newspaper.