365:65 Women’s Suffrage in Switzerland


More culture for Vivi and me on Friday, when we spent all afternoon in Zürich’s Landesmuseum, aka the Swiss National Museum. It had been years and years since I visited the museum and a lot of it has been changed around. No, all of it has been changed around. They’re also renovating and making it bigger, I think. Anyway, the changes are a good thing.

Part of the museum is dedicated to the history of the nation of Switzerland and I was particularly interested to see the section devoted to Women’s Suffrage. Switzerland was one of the last nations to give women the vote, according to what I read on Friday, their system of direct democracy being partly to blame for this; the men after all, were the voters who had to decide. After the war, when the rest of the modern world was changing their attitudes to women’s places in society, Swiss men were still convinced that women should be primarily focussed on looking after their families. Hence the poster above showing a neglected child’s dummy.

Eventually however, things changed (not that much, if you ask me. My own observations are not scientific but I know how I feel.) and the men started standing up for their women. In this poster, men are urged, “if you love your women, be a man and vote YES to votes for women.”*


Swiss women got the vote in 1971! Yep.

Entrance to the Landesmuseum is 10Fr for an adult and it’s a two minute walk behind Zürich’s main railway station. At the moment, they have a gorgeous exhibition of Papercutting art displaying some absolutely amazing work.

*My interpretation could be/is probably wrong. Please let me know!

2 thoughts on “365:65 Women’s Suffrage in Switzerland

  1. But you left out the worst part of the story! That was only suffrage on a federal level. Some of the cantons really dawdled before giving women the right to vote locally, and indeed the last one (one of the Appenzells? A quick google seems like far too much trouble) only allowed it because they were forced to by the federal court because refusing was unconstitutional! And that was in the 1990s (I think)!

    • Thanks, Robyn. I was going to go into all that but really, it’s too depressing. 😉 (Yes, one of the Appenzells, in 1990)

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