Swiss cabinet dominated by women

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Swiss cabinet dominated by women

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The were scenes of celebrations in Switzerland after the country’s parliament appointed Social Democrat Simonetta Sommaruga to the cabinet.

Nothing unusual there you might think.

But the move means the Swiss have more women cabinet ministers than men for the first time in their history.

Sommaruga becomes the fourth female on the seven-member federal council. An historic moment, for a country considered until only recently as a bastion of male domination.

In the capital Bern, delight for one woman.

‘‘For history, and because I’m a woman who was not able to vote.’‘

Sentiments echoed by the alpine state’s former female president Ruth Dreifuss, who said: ‘‘In April 1993, there was only one woman, a little lost in this male environment. And then progress. Today we’ve really achieved better than parity.’‘

Swiss women only obtained the right to vote at a national level in 1971.

But, while the turnaround is remarkable, Switzerland is not alone in Europe. Spain, Norway and Finland all have non-male cabinet majorities.