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A previous referendum on women's suffrage was held on 1 February 1959 and was rejected by the majority (67%) of Switzerland's men.Despite this, in some French-speaking cantons women obtained the right to vote in local referendums.However, the laws that followed that constitution rigidly placed women in a situation of legal inferiority.From 1860 to 1874, the first feminist movements were organized and, contemporaneously, the first constitutional revision of 1874; the political rights of women became the object of numerous discussions.As a result, the motions of Greulich and Göttisheim were accepted by the National Council and taken over by the Federal Council for completion.
On September 22, 2010, the Federal Council changed to a female majority with the addition of Simonetta Sommaruga.
During the First World War, the movement came to a halt, as more critical problems came to the forefront.
Among others, the women's alliances carried out the collective welfare work during the war, since Switzerland at this time still had no social insurance.
Micheline Calmy-Rey was elected President of the Confederation in 2011.
The constitution of 1848, the origin of modern Switzerland proclaims the equality in the eyes of the law of all human beings (in German, Menschen) but does not explicitly include women in that equality.
The introduction of federal and cantonal universal suffrage necessitated the vote of the majority of the electors, men in this case, for a referendum.