Swiss women have come a long way since 1971, the year they were granted the right to vote at the federal level. Exactly 40 years after their first chance to do so, around 125 representatives of the Swiss political, social and economic scenes celebrated the milestone in Bern on Monday.
On February 7, 1971, 66 per cent of Swiss men voted in favour of allowing women to vote as well. The first opportunity came on June 6 of that year – when nationwide issues included environmental protection and financial regulations.
Many women who remember that momentous year were at the Bernerhof on Monday to reminisce and discuss what still needs to be done.
“This is a very important event because we still have a number of problems and challenges in terms of equality. Some examples include equal pay for equal work and the glass ceiling,” said former parliamentarian Rosmarie Zapfl-Helbling, president of alliance F, an umbrella organisation for 140 women’s groups in Switzerland.
“We know how difficult it is for women to advance to higher management positions in business and science,” she told swissinfo.ch.
“This awareness is important, especially for young women who have no idea that this wasn’t even possible 40 years ago – and in Appenzell, just 20 years ago. It’s really a very short time. And despite that, we’ve really come a long way with four ministers in the cabinet. That’s certainly very special this year.”
Full Article: Swiss women celebrate 40 years of suffrage. – swissinfo.