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Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Austrian national anthem 'sexist'
Children in Kapfenberg, Austria peer through eclipse glasses
Austrians are taught the national anthem as schoolchildren
Austria's national anthem is sexist and must be revised, the country's right wing women's minister has declared.

Maria Rauch-Kallat objects to the anthem's description of Austria as a "fatherland" which is home to "great sons". She proposes several changes.

But while she has found support, one colleague called her moves "senseless".

A women's minister should work to improve the lives of women and girls, declared Uwe Scheuch, and not concern herself with such "side issues".

New identity

Mrs Rauch Kallat defended her objectives in an interview with the country's Kurier newspaper.
Kitzsteinhorn mountain in Austria
Land of mountains, land on the river
Land of fields, land of spires
Land of hammers, with a rich future
You are the home of great sons
A nation blessed by its sense of beauty
Highly-praised Austria, highly-praised Austria

"Women's politics are also the politics of language and of shaping consciousness," she said.

Her suggestions include losing a reference to a "brotherly chorus" and replacing it with a "joyful chorus" instead.

"The federal hymn should be part of every Austrian's identity," Mrs Rauch-Kallat said.

The national anthem, sung to the tune of a Mozart cantata dates from 1947 when the words were composed by female poet Paula von Preradovic.

Mrs Rauch-Kallat's proposals have met support from the opposition Social Democrats and Greens and are expected to be approved over the coming months.

Country profile: Austria
15 Jun 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Austria
29 May 05 |  Country profiles

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