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50 years of voting rights for women in the Swiss Confederation

Christa Tobler writes an extensive article on voting rights for different groups for the annual congress of the "Schweizerischer Juristenverein".

The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of women's suffrage at the Swiss federal level. The anniversary offers an opportunity to reflect on the topic of equality and political rights. The main part of this article focuses on the legal language, which played a decisive role in the history of the struggle for women's suffrage in Switzerland. In addition, the article deals with the voting rights of people with disabilities, young people, foreign nationals living in Switzerland and Swiss nationals living abroad.

Today, prohibitions of discrimination under international law, which apply to political rights and which bind Switzerland, exist for gender and disability only. In both of these areas, the obligations of the state go beyond the mere granting of the right to vote and also include actual political participation. For the other groups, the discussion on introducing or extending the right to vote is mostly based on arguments related to democracy. Overall, Switzerland has catching up to do in various areas.

Christa Tobler, Gleichstellung und politische Rechte: auf dem Weg zu einer integrativen Demokratie’, Schweizerischer Juristentag 2021: Gleichstellung neu interpretiert, Zeitschrift für Schweizerisches Recht 140 (2021) II, 277-375

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