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Women descend on parliament

About 700 women from all over Switzerland visited the parliament buildings in Bern on Saturday, where they had the chance to meet three leading women politicians.

Economics Minister Doris Leuthard, who holds this year’s Swiss presidency, along with the speakers of the two chambers of parliament, arranged the “meeting day” to mark the fact that in 2010 for the first time ever all three annually rotating posts are held by women.

The programme, organised by Leuthard’s ministry, included discussions with women from the fields of business, science, culture and sport. Among the invited guests were the skier Lara Gut, the woman rector of the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, a woman pastor, a mother of 11 children, and a heavy goods vehicle driver.

The topics discussed ranged from “Women as wife, mother and grandmother” to “Women in unusual jobs” and “Women in public service”.

The aim was to “bring women from different backgrounds together for discussions”, the ministry explained.

“We are pleased at the success of this meeting day,” said the speaker of the House of Representatives, Pascale Bruderer, while her counterpart in the Senate, Erika Forster, said the discussions “responded to a real need”.

Leuthard said she hoped to continue in the same vein, as women remained under represented in management functions in many areas.

The event was open to all women. Tickets were allocated by lot. and agencies

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