Women’s topics without taboos – 25 years of “Frau tv”

Menstruation used to be an embarrassing thing – today many women talk about it quite casually. But even 25 years after the start of “Frau tv”, women are still disadvantaged in many areas, say the makers.

the essentials in brief

  • Whether it’s tampons, poverty in old age or cosmetic surgery: for the past 25 years, Westdeutscher Rundfunk’s “Frau tv” series has been all about topics that affect women.

According to WDR information, the only women’s magazine on German television is celebrating this Thursday (10 p.m.) with an anniversary show.

When it started in 1997, it was still quite daring to make a women-only show. Many women’s issues were considered shameful or completely unnecessary. Talking about menstruation, for example, was taboo back then. Right from the start, women talked openly about themselves and their lives on the show.

Despite the many social changes over time, it is still necessary for “Frau tv” to draw attention to grievances, says moderator Lisa Ortgies. “Actually, women should have 50 percent of everything – power, money, resources, work. But there is still a lot of room for improvement.” Despite all the progress made in recent years, there have been setbacks in certain areas. This was shown, for example, in the pandemic, when women often bore the majority of the burden in the family.

“We have many topics to a certain extent on resubmission because they are always up to date,” says Sabine Heinrich, who has also moderated the show since 2014. Unfortunately, one has to report again and again about domestic violence, unfair pay or the balancing act between work and children.

However, the program shows many encouraging examples and presents “strong” women who can provide impetus and be role models, emphasizes Ortgies. Female viewers often contacted the editors with their stories.

By the way: According to WDR information, about a third of the viewers are men. “Many of them watch the show alone, but there are also many couples who then discuss the topics,” says Ortgies. Women’s issues were just everyone.

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