Women Take Control of Swiss Government

Ruling council gains female majority for first time
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2010 4:21 AM CDT
Women Take Control of Swiss Government
Swiss Social Democrat lawmaker Simonetta Sommaruga, left, talks to Erika Forster from the Free Democratic Party during a session of the upper chamber of the Swiss parliament.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Peter Klaunzer)

Women in Switzerland, who weren't allowed to vote or run for office just 40 years ago, now control the country's government. Women gained a four-person majority in the country's ruling seven-member Federal Council with the election of Social Democrat Simonetta Sommaruga, who defeated a candidate from a right-wing party, the Independent reports.

Economics Minister Doris Leuthard currently holds the country's rotating presidency. Switzerland, which granted women the right to vote in 1971, now becomes the fifth country in the world—after Norway, Spain, Finland and the Cape Verde Islands—to have a female majority government. Advocates hailed the milestone, but warned that the country's business and academic spheres have a lot of catching up to do. (More Switzerland stories.)

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