This Friday held a march much like the events that took place in 1991, where around 500,000 women crowded the streets in protest. After the first World War, millions of European women began pushing for the right to vote, although such prerogatives were only attained in 1971 – over half a century later.
During the period of the 1991 protest, there was an absence of women in the Swiss government, and maternity leave was an unfamiliar concept. Now though, Appenzell, the last remaining Swiss subdivision to deny women of their voting rights, has been instructed to correct its policy by the Supreme Court of Switzerland.
Things are not the same anymore
Much has changed since those more narrow minded days: there have been eight female ministers in government, and maternity leave has been established. Unfortunately, Swiss men still get paid an average of 20 percent more than their female co-workers. Women with management titles still don’t receive the respect they deserve, and decent daycare is scarce and overpriced.
An organizer of the 1991 protest, Paola Ferro, acknowledges that some headway has been achieved over the last 28 years, yet wage and pensions gaps are still a concern. A woman from Switzerland receives a pension that is typically 37 percent less than a man’s. Supposedly this is due to women having to take time away from work to look after their kids.
#Frauenstreik is trending
The latest march was initially discussed a year ago as a reaction to parliament’s move to establish a more critical examination of equal wages. The government’s decision only included firms with over 100 employees, an amount that female trade union leaders deemed essentially pointless. From then on, women countrywide have been rallying with the use of social media to employ the potency of the hashtag.
Many women have decided to leave work 20 percent earlier than usual in representation of the 20 percent pay gap, but most demonstrators have informed their employers of their protesting intentions.