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LIVING IN GERMANY

Living together

Social interaction between men and women

A young couple

In Germany the equality of men and women is protected by the constitution. German society reacts very strongly when this fundamental right is violated. As an asylum seeker, your behaviour will be watched very closely: When men are disrespectful towards women or even threaten them, for example, then they are breaking the law as well as the rules of hospitality. By behaving in this manner you may be liable to legal prosecution, which could in turn negatively affect your application for asylum.

In Germany women and men decide for themselves with whom they want to be in a partnership, marriage or sexual relationship. Women and men are allowed to freely express and act out their sexuality, as long as they respect the wishes of their partner and the boundaries of the law. This is not considered immoral, neither for women nor for men.

No means no

Women go into town alone if they want, also in the evening and at night – for example to restaurants and bars – and some also drink alcohol. A women may talk to men and dance and laugh with them – but that does not automatically mean that she is interested in anything more than that.

A woman’s choice of clothing does not say anything at all about her sexual availability. Short skirts, high-heeled shoes and make-up are most often worn for fashion reasons. Men must not misinterpret a woman’s clothing style as an invitation.

A woman is allowed to say "no" at any time if she does not want something. Even if there was heavy flirting, that does not mean that men have the right to demand anything more from her. If women do not want to be spoken to or touched, then men must accept this and comply.

The same also applies to men, of course. German society demands that all people – both men and women – are treated with respect. Nobody has the right to force another person to have sex. Not even in a marriage.