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German upper house seeks women quota in boardrooms

(AP) BERLIN - The German Parliament's upper house is calling for a mandatory quota for women on companies' supervisory boards.

The house, which represents Germany's 16 states, voted Friday for a motion that would require large companies to have at least 20 percent of women on their supervisory boards - the equivalent of a U.S. board of directors - starting in 2018, and 40 percent five years later, German news agency dapd reported.

The motion now goes to Parliament's lower house, which Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition controls. The coalition is divided on the issue and it's unclear whether a quota could secure a majority there.

The quota was proposed in the upper house by center-left state governments. Two states led by Merkel's conservative party joined ranks with them on Friday.

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