Tens of thousands of people in the streets during the June 14 feminist strike – rts.ch

Tens of thousands of people mobilized on Friday to defend women’s rights, during the traditional feminist strike of June 14. Pay equality, minimum wages and decent pensions were at the heart of the demands.

Various actions and demonstrations took place during the day in several cities in Switzerland. In Geneva, between 25,000 and 30,000 people expressed their anger in the streets on Friday, according to the feminist strike collective. The estimate provided by the police is between 6,000 and 8,000 people. The demonstration took place without incident.

“Feminism: it’s hope!” launched Françoise Nyffeler, member of the collective, in front of the crowd gathered in the Parc des Bastions, in front of the Mur des Réformateurs. She encouraged them to let out an angry cry, just before the procession set off. The clamor echoed all the way to the top of the old town.

>> Listen to the report at the heart of the Geneva gathering in Forum:

Report from the feminist strike in Geneva / Forum / 2 min. / yesterday at 6:00 p.m.

In Lausanne, a procession formed a large purple wave under the clearings. The participants were between 15,000 and 20,000, according to the Feminist Strike, 18,000 according to the police. They chanted the slogan “Strike, feminist strike” many times. “Deliver us from the male”, to “Coughs on strike” to “Revulvition”, we could read on signs.

Across Sarine, several thousand people – 35,000 according to the organizers – gathered in Bern under the slogan “Solidarity, feminist, anti-racist”. In Zurich, the demonstration began, as in Geneva, with a cry against violence against women. The crowd well exceeded 10,000 people during the evening, indicates the municipal police.

Last year, 300,000 people marched in all major cities in Switzerland, according to the Swiss Trade Union Union (USS). June 14, 2019 marked the largest social mobilization since the general strike of 1918. Half a million people then mobilized, according to the USS.

>> See also the follow-up to the strike of June 14, 2023: Several hundred thousand people participated in the women’s strike

“We are demonstrating for equal pay, treatment and rights for all, and against the attacks to which women and sexual minorities are subject, at work, in private life, in politics and even in culture “, launched the Syna union on Friday. Retirement equality is not forgotten, “because salary inequality has repercussions on pensions”.

>> Read also: Equal pay, one of the demands of the feminist strike this Friday, June 14

5000 francs per month

Unia demanded a fair minimum wage of 5,000 francs per month. It is scandalous that almost one in two women who have completed their apprenticeship earns a salary lower than this amount, denounces the union. They are being told that their work is less valuable, which rightly makes them “angry”, said union president Vania Alleva in Bern.

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It is incredible that women in Switzerland still earn 1,500 francs less per month than men, added the trade unionist. It is also completely scandalous that one in three women are still victims of sexual harassment at work. And it is shameful for rich Switzerland that a quarter of women are affected by poverty in old age.

For Anne Donou, director for French-speaking Switzerland of the von Rundstedt consulting firm, these salary gaps can be explained by the late arrival of women on the job market and an industry mainly focused on pharmaceuticals and financial services.

“(Their salaries) have therefore progressed more slowly”, she specifies in Forum on Friday evening. “Women are less represented” in these industries and therefore they are not there either at “very high (salary) levels”. high,” she adds.

>> Listen to the interview with Anne Donou in Forum:

The higher we go up the salary scale, the greater the salary gaps between men and women: interview with Anne Donou / Forum / 4 min. / yesterday at 6:00 p.m.

A policy of equality

Alliance F Suisse, the largest women’s umbrella association in Switzerland, has called for a more convincing equality policy: better protection against violence against women and girls, equal pay for equal work and finally better working conditions. frameworks for reconciling professional and family life.

Like last year, bourgeois women remained behind in a movement considered too partisan. In a press release published at the end of the afternoon, the youth of the PLR, the UDC and the Center affirmed that the feminist strike was “diverted to serve a left-wing political agenda”.

They notably denounced arguments based on “controversy and fake news” to combat the reform of occupational pensions. The Young Green Liberals, for their part, believe that the feminist strike “does not speak for all women”.

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