The women's strike ignites Switzerland

Already at midnight, the sound of pots resounded in Swiss cities. From Geneva to Basel, from Chur to Neuchâtel, from Lausanne to Schaffhouse to Biel, Bern, Lucerne and Bellinzona, women expressed their dissatisfaction. Like every year. Because it is clear that the situation is not improving, according to the feminist strike movement, whose campaign themes vary little: correct pensions, childcare places, equal pay. The pandemic has not given birth to a new world, on the contrary, feminist organizations consider. Who haven’t finished donning their purple bandana to ask for it to change.

“There is nothing to rejoice about”

“Tell us your story,” a small tank set up two hours before the procession on Zurich’s Bürkliplatz said on Tuesday. The cart belongs to the managers of a well-known Instagram account in the largest city in Switzerland: Cat calls of Zurich. “Cat calls” translates to “street harassment.” Created in 2019, it lists verbal attacks before writing them in chalk on city sidewalks. “We get about five a day,” Lea said.

Also read: Why domestic violence is not weakening in Switzerland

More determined than ever, the activist lists not the progress, but rather the setbacks: “The pandemic has highlighted the resurgence of domestic abuse, the right to abortion is in danger in the United States, LGBTQ + minorities are increasingly abused in countries like Hungary. There is nothing to rejoice about. ”

In the middle of the crowd, a truck pulled by a tractor starts spitting the title Bad Girls by MIA No more talking. A purple tide converges around the trailer. Two speeches follow one another, the first against all forms of discrimination. Against patriarchy, against the exclusion of women, the disabled, minorities from all walks of life. The second against the war.

Also read: The feminist struggle, to the beat of drums

Feminist revolution!

Finally the parade shakes. Drums sounded, activists waved placards with sanitary napkins. The reform of AVS 21, which provides for an increase in the retirement age for women – and will be put to a vote in September – takes it for granted. “Feminist Revolution!” Sings a group of activists. The turnout figures have not yet dropped at the time of rendering this article but the ends of the procession are not visible. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people. In Zurich as elsewhere, on June 14, he mobilized the crowds.

Good luck for next year, say feminist organizations. The procession of June 14, 2023 is indeed already announced as the next militant mammoth. It will fall in a crucial year in Switzerland: the federal elections. The latter had given rise to a green but also purple wave. Equality advocates hope to continue their momentum. In the meantime, the procession opens a lot of beers. Because if the women are “always upset”, the parade is also a big party. Especially after two years of pandemic.

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