About the Directorate General for Women and Equality


The Directorate General for Women was founded in 1997 within the Federal Chancellery. The first Head of Directorate General was Johanna Hoffmann.

In 2000 the Directorate General was incorporated into the operational area of the Federal Ministry for Social Security and Generations.

In 2003 the Directorate General for Women was moved to the newly founded Federal Ministry for Health and Women and in 2007 back to the Federal Chancellery.

From March 2014 to June 2016 the Directorate General for Women belonged to the Federal Ministry of Education and Women's Affairs. From 1 July 2016 to 7 January 2018 the Directorate General was integrated into the Federal Ministry for Health and Women's Affairs.

On 8 January 2018 the Directorate General for Women has moved back to the Federal Chancellery.

Today the Directorate General for Women and Equality comprises 7 departments and is headed by Jennifer Resch.

Politicians for Women and Equality

In November 1979 Johanna Dohnal was appointed State Secretary for General Women’s Affairs. In December 1990 her operational area was upgraded and she was nominated as Federal Minister for Women within the Federal Chancellery.

Ministers for Women and Equality:

  • Johanna Dohnal (December 1990 – March 1995)
  • Helga Konrad (April 1995 - January 1997)
  • Barbara Prammer (February 1997 - February 2000)
  • Elisabeth Sickl (February - October 2000)
  • Herbert Haupt (October 2000 - February 2003)
  • Maria Rauch-Kallat (February 2003 - December 2006)
  • Doris Bures (January 2007 - June 2008)
  • Heidrun Silhavy (July – November 2008)
  • Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek (December 2008 - May 2016)
  • Sonja Hammerschmid (May 2016 - June 2016)
  • Sabine Oberhauser (July 2016 - February 2017)
  • Pamela Rendi-Wagner (March 2017 - December 2017)
  • Juliane Bogner-Strauß (January 2018 - May 2019)
  • Ines Stilling (May 2019 - January 2020)
  • Susanne Raab (since January 2020)

Working Areas

In the Austrian Federal Constitution the federation, Laender and municipalities commit themselves to aim at the equal status of women and men.

Women’s and equality policy are a cross-cutting issue. This means, that implementation is only possible in cooperation with all ministries, states, policy makers, etc. The Directorate General for Women and Equality has therefore the leading role in coordinating administrative action in regard to women’s and equality issues.

Central working areas are:

Equal Treatment: Within the Directorate General for Women and Equality the Commission on Equal Treatment and the Federal Equal Treatment Commission deal with all questions of a general or individual nature that involve discrimination in employment or in other areas of life based on sex, ethnic origins, religion or belief, age or sexual orientation.

Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Budgeting: Gender Mainstreaming is a strategy to reach the aim of an equal status of women and men. It intends to take into account in planning, implementation and evaluation that measures affect women and men differently. Gender Budgeting is the application of Gender Mainstreaming in the budgetary process and plays an important role in budget management.

Promotion of Women’s Projects: Parts of the Directorate General’s budget are used to support about 250 projects yearly which provide counselling and support services to women.

Prevention of Violence: Important areas of the Directorate General’s work are also the development and monitoring of measures to protect women and girls from violence as well as to combat domestic violence and human trafficking.

Gender Equality in Employment and Labour Market: The elimination of gender-specific inequalities in employment, labour market, access to qualification, income and paid/unpaid work is an important issue in gender equality policy.

Monitoring: Reports such the progress reports on the proportion of women on the supervisory boards of state-affiliated companies, the equal treatment reports, the report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) are regularly published in order to provide information on the status of gender equality to parliament and citizens.

Information and Awareness Raising: Raising the public awareness in regard to women’s and equality issues is a central task of the Directorate General. It includes investigation and analysis of fundamental research and statistical data as well as the realisation of gender-specific projects, representation in national and international bodies, provision of information material and comments on legislation.