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Women’s rights Rally protests against pay equality gap

Colourful balloons, flags and whistles animated the demonstration on Parliament Square  

(Keystone)

A broad coalition of women’s groups, trade unions and political parties have called on the government to implement equal pay principles in Switzerland in line with the country’s basic rights.

Organisers said more than 12,000 people from across Switzerland took part in demonstration outside the parliament building in the capital Bern on Saturday.

The protesters said voluntary measures were insufficient 34 years after equal pay was enshrined in the constitution.

“We are slowly running out of patience,” speakers said.

They stressed that equal pay “is not an outlandish demand by women’s rights activists”.

Recent studies found that women still earn up to 19% less than their male colleagues in similar positions.

A manifesto calling for an end to gender-related salary discrimination was signed by about 5,000 people, including two former government ministers.

Pay transparency

Last October, the government mooted plans to boost salary transparency prompting opposition by most political parties from the right to the centre and among employers.

The justice ministry is due to present a project for consultation later this year before submitting a bill to parliament.

The demonstration came ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday.


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