University of Jena sticks to the recommendation on gender-equal language

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Gender equality also in language remains the university’s goal. Image: AnnGender equality also in language remains the university’s goal. Image: Anne Günther & Jens Meyer/Universität Jena

"Language is viewed scientifically at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Studies in linguistics, sociology and psychology have shown that language not only depicts the world, but shapes it and has an impact on social perception and behaviour," says Walter Rosenthal, President of Friedrich Schiller University Jena. "Gender-sensitive language is also an important aspect at a university in order to promote gender equality. For this reason, we stand by our recommendations on gender-sensitive language. With reference to the freedom of research and teaching, university members are free to choose the diverse linguistic options of gender-equitable language for themselves. At the same time, no one will be at a disadvantage if they forego gendering. My advice is not to polarise the handling of the topic by politically motivated standards", emphasises the President on the occasion of the recommendation passed in the Thuringian Landtag to dispense with gendering.

According to a close decision by the Thuringian Landtag yesterday (10.11.22), state authorities and public institutions should refrain from using gender in future. The recommendation is to apply in the state parliament and ministries, and in subordinate institutions - such as courts, schools and universities. The first resolution of this kind in a state parliament in Germany is formulated as an appeal, as the CDU motion was not written as a law but as a request. Of 74 MPs present, 38 voted for the motion in a roll-call vote and 36 against.