Much still to do
Only 50 years ago were women in Switzerland given the right to vote. After a struggle lasting over a hundred years. Not until 1971 was that correction, long overdue in terms of democratic policy, made. Switzerland was one of the last countries in Europe to do so.
Today, women are present and active in politics. And yes, much has been achieved in this half century: equality in the constitution, an equality law and much more. But if we are honest, equality is unfortunately still progressing far too slowly, at a snail’s pace. However, I am convinced that women will no longer simply accept this; take, for example, the 2019 Women’s Strike where over half a million women, and men in solidarity, took to the Swiss streets with strike actions and stood up “for respect, more pay, more time.” Take, for example, our campaign “Hands off women’s pensions” which we launched last week and which over 300,000 people signed onto in a few days. The campaign is a reaction to the unacceptable pension revision in parliament which is to be carried out on the backs of women. At the expense of women! Women who today still receive about a third less pension than men, who are discriminated against in terms of wages, who have to struggle with the compatibility of work and family. We need action!
There is also a need for action in terms of democratic politics. Although women in Switzerland finally gained the right to vote 50 years ago, a quarter of the adult permanent resident population still has no say in the matter. Voting rights for migrants are critical!
As a trade unionist, I know all too well that improvements and social progress do not fall from the sky and must be fought for. The fighters for women’s suffrage showed that. Today, too, we must stand together and act collectively. The better organized we are, the faster we can make progress on equality.