Swiss capital agrees on quota for women

Swiss capital agrees on quota for women
Women are already well represented in the city government, or Gemeinderat. Now parliament wants the rest of the city's administraton to follow suit (Photo: E. Rieden)
In a first for Switzerland, Bern's parliament has set a quota requiring at least 35 percent of the top positions in the city's administration to be filled by women.

A coalition of women from across the political spectrum celebrated the success of their joint motion to establish quotas for women in the local administration and in city-owned companies.

In Thursday's vote, a majority of 37 delegates to 18 approved the move.

Bern's city government is currently made up of three women and two men. However, the proportion of women drops to 17 percent  for senior positions in the city council and 26 percent for management jobs in public companies, Berner Zeitung reports.

Thirty years on from the introduction of equality provisions in the federal constitution, these levels were far too low, said socialist Lea Kusano.

Men currently employed by the city will not have to fear for their jobs once the law comes into effect, with the quotas set to be filled through new recruitments.

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