In Germany, is sexism illegal?

  • Wait what? I'm confused - would racism be illegal as well? Also, how does men differ from women in this sense? If sexism against women is illegal, it would likely be illegal against men. Speaking of which, in Canada, there are crimes that go along the general lines of hate, which if I remember correctly, you can be charged for promoting hate progaganda. Basically, promoting hatred towards a specific group. There are exceptions, such as when the information is factually correct, but I doubt that is the case here.
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 1:03
  • @Zizouz212 I don't know if this case is illegal in Germany. Therfor I asked. We have §130 in the StGB about 'rabble-rousing'. But I don't know if it fits there. So, in general, I would just like to know if sexism (at all) is illegal in Germany :-) Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 1:21
  • So I assume that you know that sexism/racism is illegal. Perhaps finding the applicable law could be useful in determining this?
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 1:24
  • 3
    It should also be noted that in many jurisdictions if not most, speech that would be prohibited in many contexts is permissible in comedy, satire, or parody.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 4:40
  • 2
    Define sexism.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 19:58

2 Answers 2


I cannot speak for Germany specifically but based on the jurisdictions I know sexism (or racism, ageism etc.) is not illegal.

Discrimination based on sex is illegal. Incitement to violence (aka hate speech) is illegal. Having and expressing sexist views is not illegal; however, it is reprehensible and, in relation to measurable differences in the physiology or performance of male and female brains, scientifically inaccurate.


No, sexism is not illegal in Germany.

Discrimination based on sexism is illegal in, for example, employment, business, or housing.

Sexist speech itself is not illegal, but the usual restrictions apply - insulting people is not protected speech in Germany, see StGB §185-187 (German text).

Furthermore, employers have a duty to protect their employees from discrimination and bullying by their peers, so not doing anything when an employee reports sexism can also be fined.

Most of this is covered under the General Act on Equal Treatment, which covers discrimination based on

the grounds of race or ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation


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