Switzerland commits to combat wage discrimination, achieve a better work-family balance and act against domestic violence (updated)

Switzerland will promote women’s freedom of action and of expression, and seek to connect implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to move forward complementary goals. The translation of related actions into internal policies remains a priority. It intends in particular to combat wage discrimination, achieve a better work-family balance and act against domestic violence. Switzerland pledges to continue supporting UN Women and will increase its contribution to almost USD 50 million for the 2015 to 2017 period. It calls on all other UN entities whose mandates it supports to integrate gender into their respective activities. Since international commitments must be accompanied by strong follow-up, Switzerland emphasizes the central role of the Commission on the Status of Women, due to its responsibility in the follow-up and implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. Speaking at the Global Leaders' Meeting on 27 September 2015, President Simonetta Sommaruga said: “True to its commitment to the protection of those who defend women’s rights, Switzerland will pursue the promotion of their freedom of action and of expression, without fear of reprisal.” [ Speech: en | fr ]

Developments since Switzerland’s commitment

Switzerland has taken critical steps to strongly anchor gender equality and women’s rights in its new institutional framework, taking the Agenda 2030 as a new frame of reference. Switzerland’s new Sustainable Development Strategy (2016–2019) incorporates specific objectives on gender equality, the empowerment of women and strengthening their rights. The Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation (2017–2020) also sets gender equality and the rights of women and girls as one of its seven strategic objectives and as a cross-cutting issue.

On the domestic level, Switzerland is currently amending its legislation to make it compulsory for companies with more than 50 employees to review their pay policy with the Logib software with a view to detect any wage gap between men and women. Measures have been developed and implemented to ensure that unpaid care work is shared more equally between women and men.

Switzerland supports a national programme to create more day care places for children to fill the unmet needs in this regard, including by providing financial support to cantons and municipalities. [ Full update ]