Living in Switzerland – Information and counselling online  


The problems and issues which women face in Switzerland are closely related to their personal circumstances, and this is also true for migrant women. Key factors include education, employment, the family environment, finances, and motherhood.

Today in Switzerland women basically enjoy the same rights as men; however, they are still under-represented in all sectors of society, earn on average significantly less than their male colleagues and perform the bulk of the family and household tasks. Migrant women moreover frequently experience double discrimination, both as women and as foreigners.

Switzerland’s progress towards gender equality has been slow over recent decades, but the results are nevertheless tangible:
  • the drive for equality in child, matrimonial and divorce law aims to foster a relationship between women and men based on partnership
  • achievements in fields such as reconciling work and family life, maternity benefits, equality in the work place, and the old age and survivors’ insurance scheme are designed to strengthen the position of women and mothers
  • legislation and other measures tackling domestic violence and protecting women against sexual assault serve to safeguard women’s physical and psychological integrity and to further their right to self-determination.

In recent years Switzerland has also made progress in protecting women with migrant backgrounds:
  • since October 2012 a national action programme has been in place specifically to combat human trafficking. The improved protection of victims and witnesses is of particular help to women forced to migrate and then enslaved in the sex industry
  • in the summer of 2012 the Swiss Parliament adopted a Federal Act containing measures against forced marriages
  • in July 2012 an article (Article 124) explicitly banning female genital mutilation was added to the Swiss Criminal Code.

It is vital that all women living in Switzerland take advantage of these achievements, claim their equal rights and play their part in furthering gender equality.

In this section: Counselling services for women, Career, Gender equality , Domestic and sexual violence, Women's organisations, Forced marriages, Trafficking of women, Crisis situation, Female genital mutilation, Support for victims

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