Women in Switzerland Strike for Gender Equality

Women in Switzerland have gone on strike protesting against gender inequality in the county. It’s the first time women have gone on strike in 28 years.

Government officials in the capital city of Bern joined the protests, with women asking for equal pay and an end to sexual harassment in the workplace. The catalyst for the protests came from a new law that scrutinizes equal pay for companies with more than 100 employees, something women’s trade union leaders found “meaningless.”

In Switzerland, women make 20% less than men, the country ranks 44th in the world for wage equality, and a recent study named Switzerland’s family-leave policies as the worst in the world.

The Realist Woman’s take:

I didn’t know much about the level of gender inequality in Switzerland. Women in this country didn’t get the right to vote until 1971. It was 28 years ago that the women’s strike led to the government implementing the Gender Equality Act, which gave women legal protections from gender bias and discrimination in the workplace.

But as the government revisited equal pay for some reason, women felt the need to hit the streets and make their voices heard. Protesting really is one of the most powerful tools when fighting for basic rights and it’s inspiring to see women not waiting around for politicians to decide to give them rights and are instead taking what they are owed.