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Swiss women on why they plan to strike for equal pay and rights

Ahead of a strike planned for Friday by women in Switzerland, Reuters spoke to nine women about their concerns, including the need for equal pay and pension rights and for action on discrimination and sexual harassment.   



REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Ahead of a strike planned for Friday by women in Switzerland, Reuters spoke to nine women about their concerns, including the need for equal pay and pension rights and for action on discrimination and sexual harassment. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Ahead of a strike planned for Friday by women in Switzerland, Reuters spoke to nine women about their concerns, including the need for equal pay and pension rights and for action on discrimination and sexual harassment. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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Anne-Flore Marxer, 35, professional snowboarder: "I find it extremely important to go out in the streets on
the 14th of June to demonstrate the importance of women's participation in our society. When I started snowboarding, women were not allowed to
participate in slope site competitions. Men had decided it was too dangerous for women. And that is still the case today in free ride competitions. The first male skier gets $8,000 while the first woman snowboarder gets $4,000 for the same competition, the same day, on the same mountain. There is still so much to be done to bring
gender equality."    

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Anne-Flore Marxer, 35, professional snowboarder: "I find it extremely important to go out in the streets on the 14th of June to demonstrate the importance of women's participation in our society. When I started snowboarding, women were not allowed...more

Anne-Flore Marxer, 35, professional snowboarder: "I find it extremely important to go out in the streets on the 14th of June to demonstrate the importance of women's participation in our society. When I started snowboarding, women were not allowed to participate in slope site competitions. Men had decided it was too dangerous for women. And that is still the case today in free ride competitions. The first male skier gets $8,000 while the first woman snowboarder gets $4,000 for the same competition, the same day, on the same mountain. There is still so much to be done to bring gender equality." REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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Adele Thorens, 48, Green Party politician: "There is a whole range of issues on which we still need to progress, be they classic themes like equal pay or new themes
that a new generation of young women have raised such as harassment in the street. As a politician, I would like to highlight a key theme that corresponds to what I have experienced, which is under-representation of women in organs of power, at the political level, but also at the economic level, and in all spheres of our society where important decisions are taken. I think the time has come to finally take measures so that women can assume their rightful place in decision-making spheres and defend their interests at all levels of society."  


REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Adele Thorens, 48, Green Party politician: "There is a whole range of issues on which we still need to progress, be they classic themes like equal pay or new themes that a new generation of young women have raised such as harassment in the street. As...more

Adele Thorens, 48, Green Party politician: "There is a whole range of issues on which we still need to progress, be they classic themes like equal pay or new themes that a new generation of young women have raised such as harassment in the street. As a politician, I would like to highlight a key theme that corresponds to what I have experienced, which is under-representation of women in organs of power, at the political level, but also at the economic level, and in all spheres of our society where important decisions are taken. I think the time has come to finally take measures so that women can assume their rightful place in decision-making spheres and defend their interests at all levels of society." REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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3 / 10
Yana Valenca, 50, domestic violence victim and president of
association 'Diana's Hope': "Victims of domestic violence haven't been heard. Finally, this time, we are going out on the street to express ourselves. In my life I suffered all sorts of denigrations and humiliations, especially on the part of my ex-husband for whom a woman is nothing, she's only there for housework and sex."    

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Yana Valenca, 50, domestic violence victim and president of association 'Diana's Hope': "Victims of domestic violence haven't been heard. Finally, this time, we are going out on the street to express ourselves. In my life I suffered all sorts of...more

Yana Valenca, 50, domestic violence victim and president of association 'Diana's Hope': "Victims of domestic violence haven't been heard. Finally, this time, we are going out on the street to express ourselves. In my life I suffered all sorts of denigrations and humiliations, especially on the part of my ex-husband for whom a woman is nothing, she's only there for housework and sex." REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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Lynn Bertholet, 60, private bank manager: "We really need things to happen in favor of more equitable
working conditions in terms of men and women, of paternal leave, of child nurseries, of a women's ability to go back to work without being punished in her CV, etc. In almost every area of a couple's life, there is a need to even things out and in companies themselves there is a real 'glass ceiling', the way of treating women is different than the way they treat men. I realize that because most of my existence has been as a man and I think things really must change."  
  


REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Lynn Bertholet, 60, private bank manager: "We really need things to happen in favor of more equitable working conditions in terms of men and women, of paternal leave, of child nurseries, of a women's ability to go back to work without being punished...more

Lynn Bertholet, 60, private bank manager: "We really need things to happen in favor of more equitable working conditions in terms of men and women, of paternal leave, of child nurseries, of a women's ability to go back to work without being punished in her CV, etc. In almost every area of a couple's life, there is a need to even things out and in companies themselves there is a real 'glass ceiling', the way of treating women is different than the way they treat men. I realize that because most of my existence has been as a man and I think things really must change." REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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Corinne Thalmann, 33, actress: "I think the strike is important because I think we should raise awareness that people still are not equal, that it is still straight, white, old men who rule the world."   


REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Corinne Thalmann, 33, actress: "I think the strike is important because I think we should raise awareness that people still are not equal, that it is still straight, white, old men who rule the world." REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Corinne Thalmann, 33, actress: "I think the strike is important because I think we should raise awareness that people still are not equal, that it is still straight, white, old men who rule the world." REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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Vanessa Renfer, 40, farmer: "Much remains to be done in terms of social insurance, all the rights related to retirement, to savings, where women often work part-time, in jobs that are less well-paid, and they end up with miserable pensions. That is where, in my opinion, Switzerland has a long road ahead."   

 REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Vanessa Renfer, 40, farmer: "Much remains to be done in terms of social insurance, all the rights related to retirement, to savings, where women often work part-time, in jobs that are less well-paid, and they end up with miserable pensions. That is...more

Vanessa Renfer, 40, farmer: "Much remains to be done in terms of social insurance, all the rights related to retirement, to savings, where women often work part-time, in jobs that are less well-paid, and they end up with miserable pensions. That is where, in my opinion, Switzerland has a long road ahead." REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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Emilienne Hutin Zumbach, 50, wine maker: "After 30 years in the business, I realize that this bottle of wine has allowed me to position myself and affirm myself as a women in a profession that is still quite masculine and to be
able to achieve things, to take decisions. It's true that the vines, wine, winemaking, tastings, all of it, really allowed me to emancipate myself and especially to advance and feel good."    REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Emilienne Hutin Zumbach, 50, wine maker: "After 30 years in the business, I realize that this bottle of wine has allowed me to position myself and affirm myself as a women in a profession that is still quite masculine and to be able to achieve...more

Emilienne Hutin Zumbach, 50, wine maker: "After 30 years in the business, I realize that this bottle of wine has allowed me to position myself and affirm myself as a women in a profession that is still quite masculine and to be able to achieve things, to take decisions. It's true that the vines, wine, winemaking, tastings, all of it, really allowed me to emancipate myself and especially to advance and feel good." REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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Celine Renaud, 44, CEO and co-founder of loudspeaker maker JMC Lutherie: "I won't strike. However, I will give a seminar on public speaking and storytelling, especially to a group of women. I will help them to find their own voice in order to assert themselves and to be more powerful. As a woman I suffered salary inequality. This is really
something which is unacceptable."    

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Celine Renaud, 44, CEO and co-founder of loudspeaker maker JMC Lutherie: "I won't strike. However, I will give a seminar on public speaking and storytelling, especially to a group of women. I will help them to find their own voice in order to assert...more

Celine Renaud, 44, CEO and co-founder of loudspeaker maker JMC Lutherie: "I won't strike. However, I will give a seminar on public speaking and storytelling, especially to a group of women. I will help them to find their own voice in order to assert themselves and to be more powerful. As a woman I suffered salary inequality. This is really something which is unacceptable." REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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Viviane Boson, 57, sign language teacher: "I am going to participate in the strike with a big group of women doing sign language. I think people will be sensitized and maybe they will move, and improve things, in terms of accessibility for deaf people."     
REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Viviane Boson, 57, sign language teacher: "I am going to participate in the strike with a big group of women doing sign language. I think people will be sensitized and maybe they will move, and improve things, in terms of accessibility for deaf...more

Viviane Boson, 57, sign language teacher: "I am going to participate in the strike with a big group of women doing sign language. I think people will be sensitized and maybe they will move, and improve things, in terms of accessibility for deaf people." REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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