We get special treatment. In Switzerland, we women were seen as so special, it was not until 48 years ago that we were given the right to vote. Until 30 years ago, wives were seen as so special, they were obliged by law to manage the household for the family, the husband was officially the head of the household. We were treated so special that we had to wait until 2005 to have right for paid maternity leave, and it wasn’t until 2013 that we finally were able to choose our family name after marriage, instead of automatically taking the husbands name. Switzerland truly is a developing country when it comes to gender equality, and the experts from the Global Gender Gap Report are telling us that it will take another 108 years until we will reach true equality in terms of education, economic participation or health. At the pace that Switzerland is going, this is an utopia, and it will probably only be my grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-(add more if you are less of an optimist than me)-children that will live in a gender equal society.
I am so done with that special treatment. Time is up. We need gender equality now, not tomorrow, and not in a 108 years.
Here is what you can do:
- Remind your family and friends that we still have work to do.
- Vote for women, and vote for political parties that regularly push through initiatives to balance out inequalities;
- Don’t interrupt your female colleague when she is making a point in a meeting;
- Actively re-iterate what your female colleague said in meetings, e.g. “as Purava mentioned, this and this is what needs to happen”;
- Listen and believe when you hear stories about sexual harassment, and don’t play them down if you experience it;
- Don’t make comments like “oh you are smart in addition to beautiful” to a woman;
- Go and strike together with the thousands of other Swiss people today;
- Encourage your female friend to apply for this promotion/job, even if she probably says “I don’t fit all the criteria” but you believe she does;
- Women: stop bodyshaming yourself, especially in front of others;
- Celebrate and support people who are challenging gender norms: the female engineer, the stay-at-home dad, the female company CEO, the girl who wants to become president, the ones breaking glass ceilings in ordinary and extraordinary ways everyday.
Find out more here: https://www.14juni.ch/