Development Partnership Berlin DiverCity/Diversity in Berlin

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Diversity in Berlin

Berlin is a city of diversity: almost 3.4 million women (51.2%) and men (48.8%) of different ethnical origin live here under varying social conditions with very different lifestyles and life situations. On the one hand there are many older people, on the other the city continues to attract young people of all nationalities who shape the diverse culture of Berlin. Almost one-quarter of Berliners are under the age of 27. People living in Berlin come from a total of 185 countries; more than 13% of the population has a foreign passport.

Berlin also has a diverse religious landscape: around 5.9% of the population is of Muslim faith; 23.4% of Berliners are members of the Protestant Church and 9.1% of the Roman Catholic Church. Over the last 10 years the Jewish community has almost doubled in size as a consequence of the arrival of immigrants from former Soviet bloc countries. At the present time, the Jewish Community Berlin has just over 11,000 members. There are also Hindu and Buddhist religious communities in the city.

However, this diversity is not reflected on the Berlin labour market and in the education, vocational training and employment system as documented by a few pertinent numbers: 52% of female school leavers still "choose" their first initial training from amongst one of 10 occupations; the proportion of women who work in the information and communication sector is around 26%. Only 7% of them hold decision-making positions. In this sector women earn on average around 25% less than men.

The unemployment rate amongst immigrants without German citizenship underlines the urgent need for action. At 46,1% it is twice as high as the average unemployment rate in Berlin. The share of women in the target group is 38.9% whereby a high number of unregistered unemployed immigrants is likely (no figures are available on this). What is also alarming is the number of young women from an immigrant background who have no vocational training (around 77.4%).

Wherever there is diversity, there is also friction. But friction is also an opportunity to learn from one another and to take up the challenge of dealing with tension and conflict potential. Cultural diversity means enrichment if members of society succeed in broadening their attitudes and competencies. However, strengthening all aspects of diversity and combating discrimination and inequality is dependant on changes being made to structures, processes and, last but not least, on access to resources in political, economic, administrative and educational organisations and on access to all social areas.

The EQUAL Development Partnership"Berlin DiverCity" seeks to bring about these changes on the organisational and individual side through four network sub-projects on very different levels.

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