14 June 2019
Hundreds of mainly women but also some men gathered at midnight on Friday at the bottom of the Swiss city's cathedral tower bell to symbolically launch the second national women strike in the history of the country. Nearly three decades ago, on June 14, 1991, about 500,000 Swiss women went on strike throughout the country, to denounce salary differences between them and men, urge equal pay, denounce enduring discrimination, despite the fact that equality was enshrined in the Constitution in 1981.
Following the strike, five years later, the Switzerland Gender Equality Act came into force, banning workplace discrimination and sexual harassment, and protected women from bias or dismissal over pregnancy, marital status, or gender. According to data from the Federal Statistics Office, there is still a 20% discrepancy between women's and men's salaries, and the discrimination gap, that is differences that cannot be explained by role or rank, and has actually worsened since 2000.
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