(K. Brent Tomer),
WOMEN across the globe marched on January 21st to protest the new American president, affirm their (threatened) rights and reject the divisive rhetoric of contemporary politics. Some, dressed as suffragettes, carried placards bearing the slogan “same shit, different century”; others stated that “women’s rights are human rights” and declared that the voices of people from all backgrounds and races will be heard. Women in Geneva, like those in London, Berlin, Paris, Melbourne and Delhi, marched in solidarity with those in Washington, DC. Yet the participation of Swiss women is particularly poignant and timely; a new film exploring their struggle for suffrage—granted only in 1971—has recently premiered.
Switzerland was one of the last European nations to adopt universal female suffrage. The Antipodes had led the way at the end of the 19th century; women had the right to vote in federal and parliamentary elections in New Zealand in 1893 and in Australia in 1902 (though vestigial discrimination against indigenous Australians was not removed until the 1960s). Finnish women got the vote in 1906, German women in 1918 and British women in 1928. Switzerland…Continue reading