First female member of Senate dies

Lise Girardin, a pioneer of women in politics, has died in Geneva at the age of 89. She represented the central-right Radical Party in the Senate from 1971 to 1979.

This content was published on October 19, 2010 - 15:53 and agencies

Her election to the smaller chamber of the Swiss parliament came after women were allowed to vote at a federal level in 1971.

Girardin, a teacher of French, was head of culture in the city of Geneva government for 12 years and had been mayor on three occasions.

She was a member of the Geneva cantonal parliament from 1961 to 1973.

Girardin became a board member of the former Swiss Bank Corporation in 1971.

A mother herself, one of her last political campaigns was to support maternity leave in 2004. She had campaigned in favour of Switzerland joining the European Economic Area in 1992, which Swiss voters rejected.

Girardin was president of the federal commission for the problems of foreigners in 1990 and was in favour of relaxing naturalisation procedures, particularly for second-generation foreigners.

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