In Switzerland, women have had the right to vote and stand for election at federal level since 1971: ch.ch looks back at the long road to women’s suffrage (web page available in German, French and Italian).
More and more women are taking their seats in Parliament. While there were only 12 women in Parliament in 1971 (web page available in German, French and Italian), their number rose to 96 out of a total of 246 MPs at the start of the last legislature period at the end of 2019.
In 2019, the National Council with 42% women (= 84 out of 200) became significantly more feminine than the Council of States with 26% of women (12 out of 46).
More than 40 years after Article 8, Equality before the law was enshrined in the Constitution, there is still a long way to go to achieve gender-balanced representation in Parliament.
There are some regional differences. Since at least 2019, gender parity is respected for members of the Council of States from the six French-speaking cantons and the Ticino. Both members of the Council of States from Fribourg have been women since 2021. In the National Council, on the other hand, there is no clear correlation between the proportion of women and the linguistic regions. The proportion of women also varies from party to party.
Parties interested in improving the representation of women can support their female candidates in a targeted way during the election campaign.
They can also structure their lists in such a way as to increase the chances of women being elected, as explained in the Guide of the Federal Chancellery for parliamentary groups in their selection of candidates for the National Council, p. 38 (pdf file available in French).
The Federal Commission for Women's Issues is encouraging parties to support the candidacies of young women (pdf file available in French) to Parliament this autumn.
To make sure you don't miss out on any stage of the election campaign, check the interactive election calendar.
ch.ch has a page with profiles of former candidates for the National Council.
ch.ch looks back at the history of parliamentary elections (web page available in French).
The website of the Federal Statistical Office provides a wide range of statistics on women and elections (web page available in French).
The Federal Commission for Women's Issues encourages women to enter politics.