A German court’s order has given the green light to women to participate in a traditional event, known as Fischertag or ‘Fisherman’s day.’
The event is annually organised in Memmingen, where fishermen compete to catch the biggest fish in a stream.
According to the tradition, only men who had lived there for at least five years can participate to “preserve the centuries-old tradition”.
However, the court’s order has permitted female members’ participation after a complaint was filed in a district court.
Judges said the event’s stated aims of service to local history, culture, and environmental protection do not justify the unequal treatment of members.
The court also found that it had effectively ceased to be a completely faithful reproduction of history for several years.
The organiser group said it planned to decide on Thursday whether to appeal to a federal court.
The mayor of Memmingen, Manfred Schilder, said the ruling was clear and the event “will change”.
The head of the group that organises the Memmingen event, Michael Ruppert, said the verdict “could affect many, many associations across Germany”.
Both sides last month rejected the presiding judge’s suggestion that they reach an out-of-court settlement.
The organisers argued that a majority of its delegates would have to approve a compromise, but they had already twice rejected opening the event to women.
The case pitted associations’ legal freedom to set their own rules against the requirement for equal treatment.