• Switzerland's news in English

Swiss canton to ban sexist ads

Lyssandra Sears · 23 Feb 2012, 14:13

Published: 23 Feb 2012 14:49 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Feb 2012 14:13 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Sandrine Bavaud, a Green Party member of parliament in canton Vaud, has received overwhelming support in the cantonal parliament for her plan to create a law banning sexist street advertising.

Under the terms of the proposal, advertisements would be vetted for sexist content by a panel of experts representing different interest groups such as schools, churches, health authorities and perhaps also feminists. 

There are no fixed criteria but Bavaud suggests that an advert could be considered sexist when there is a disagreement between the product and reality, such as a near-naked woman selling a car.

Bavaud is particularly concerned about the effect that the images have on society.

“I am for freedom of expression, but sexism is a real public health problem: such posters encourage violence or even rape,” she said.

But others see the proposal as puritanical.

Story continues below…

“Sensuality and glamour are part of our society," Francois Brélaz of the Swiss People’s Party said, “it is futile to try to ban it.”

The cantonal government is now in the process of drafting the bill, but the proposal has some way to travel before it would be adopted across the country.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

2012-03-03 16:24:07 by willowsdad
The outfit Ms. Bavaud is wearing in her photo seems to be a bit revealing--perhaps more so than that of the "milkmaid" in the accompanyng ad. Isn't Bavaud worried that she's encouraging violence and rape? Get her into a burqa, quick! Which reminds me, there seems to be a good deal more violence against women in societies where the female body is considered something to be hidden away.
2012-02-24 02:08:43 by Global Macro
The proponent says, "I am for freedom of expression, but....such posters (say expressions of speech) encourage violence..." She means that she is not for freedom of expression. There is no freedom of expression (speech) if the government is empowered to determine what speech "encourages" violence and is therefore illegal. Freedom of speech is essential to a free society. It is disappointing that it is not protected more seriously in Switzerland.
Today's headlines
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
File photo: The Local

The cow was at risk of drowning after falling into the private pool.

Uefa Champions League
Basel 'ready for battle' in Champions League clash
Basel training in Paris. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

Swiss champions Basel fancy their chances of springing a surprise when they face Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available