Events - 19.10.2016 - 00:00 

Gender equality accomplished!?

From Thursday, 27 October, experts from various Swiss universities will take stock of gender equality on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Federal Act on Gender Equality. The participants in the concluding panel discussion will include Switzerland’s first ever female federal judge, Margrith Bigler-Eggenberger.

20 October 2016. Twenty years ago Switzerland accomplished "formal" gender equality with the entry into force of the Federal Act on Gender Equality. Thus discrimination in working life, as well as unequal pay owing to gender, are prohibited. But is this prohibition actually implemented? Diversity and inclusion – are these advanced developments and extensions of concepts of gender equality to further groups that are socially discriminated against, or are they mere buzzwords which cover up discrimination that continues to exist?

Developments of gender equality in Switzerland
The series will be launched by Dr. Christa Binswanger. The HSG's permanent lecturer in Gender and Diversity will introduce the topic on 27 October. On 3 November, Prof. Dr. Monika Salzbrunn from the University of Lausanne will talk about "From equal opportunities to diversity: the development of the gender equality debate in Switzerland since the 1970s as observed in the universities". The way in which gender equality is enshrined in the law will be dealt with on 10 November by Dr. Gesine Fuchs from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in her lecture on "The mobilisation of legislation for gender equality in Switzerland". On 17 November, Prof. em. Dr. René Levy from the University of Lausanne will look back on 20 years of the Federal Act on Gender Equality – 30 years of the gender equality article in the Federal Constitution – 45 years of political gender equality and will present sociological reflections on how to continue. On 24 November, PD Dr. Kristina Schulz from the University of Berne will give her lecture on "Against the snail’s pace in gender equality: the women’s movement since 1968".

Concluding panel discussion

In the concluding panel discussion on 1 December, the experts will debate the question as to whether gender equality has been accomplished. The panel will be chaired by Dr. Christa Binswanger and will consist of the following guests:

  • Dr. Margrith Bigler-Eggenberger, Switzerland's first female federal judge
  • Dr. Elisabeth Joris, historian and university teacher
  • Alecs Recher, Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights / Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies, University of Berne
  • Prof. Dr. Gudrun Sander, Associate Professor of Business Administration and Diversity Management, University of St.Gallen
  • Prof. Dr. Steve Stiehler, Academic Director of Social Work, St.Gallen University of Applied Sciences
  • Verena Witzig, doctoral student, University of St.Gallen

Picture: Fotolia / radachynskyi

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