She may be a reluctant feminist, but Angela Merkel inspires many ...

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She may be a reluctant feminist, but Angela Merkel inspires many women

The outgoing German chancellor is said to have done much to achieve gender equality

Susanne Neumayer-Remter, Tanya wood and Petra Wischgoll

German chancellor Angela Merkel has become a feminist icon after 16 years in power, even though the world’s most powerful woman has only belatedly accepted that label as she prepares to step down, and conceded that gender equality is still a long way off.

“She is admired by women all over the world, this is her main legacy. That a woman showed what she is capable of and does this with dignity and resolve,” German feminist activist Alice Schwarzer said.

A rare woman in the upper echelons of her conservative, male-dominated Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel, 67, long avoided casting herself as a feminist and has only reluctantly supported some policies pushed by feminists, such as quotas for women in boardrooms...

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