alliance F

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alliance F , formerly the Federation of Swiss Women's Associations, is the largest Swiss women's umbrella organization. The alliance F has 150 member associations and 400 individual members and thus represents the interests of around 400,000 women in Switzerland. Today the association sees itself as a political lobby organization for issues related to equality between women and men in work, family and society.



The BSF was founded in Bern on May 26, 1900, after preparations had been in progress since 1899. It was created on the initiative of the heads of progressive Swiss women's rights associations from the cities of Bern ( Helene von Mülinen ), Geneva ( Camille Vidart , Pauline Chaponnière-Chaix ), Lausanne ( Marguerite Duvillard-Chavannes ) and Zurich ( Emma Boos-Jegher , Klara Honegger ). Mülinen was also the first female president of the BSF until 1904. The declared aim of the BSF was to represent the interests of women in the political authorities. In particular, the women of the BSF wanted to influence the developing civil and criminal legislation. The BSF was something like a “women's parliament”. The women's problems were discussed and solutions were sought together. In the statutes , the task of the federal government “on the issue of women's emancipation” was recorded. The federal government should “represent the interests of women vis-à-vis the authorities and the public and cooperate on an international level”. The BSF saw itself as a patriotic organization that wanted to work in the state, this as a complement and not as a competition to the men; At the same time, however, he also represented the demand for full equality for women. The Federation has been a member of the International Women's Council since 1903 .

17 associations were involved when it was founded; in 1910 the umbrella organization already had 66 associations as members. Some important associations are missing, including the Swiss Charitable Women's Association (SGF) , the Swiss Workers' Association (SAV) and the German-speaking Swiss Association for the Improvement of Morality (DVHS) . The BSF was too political for the SGF and the DVHS, and too civic for the SAV.

The first “official act” took place before it was officially founded: on May 17, he submitted a collective petition to the Federal Department of Justice and Police , in which the women demanded the separation of property in matrimonial property law, which in view of the new civil code on the political Agenda was set. In a petition to the Swiss Reformed Church Conference in 1904, the BSF demanded the right to vote for women in church affairs and in the parishes. With this "radical" demand, he met with strong reservations among many of his member associations and subsequently behaved very cautiously on this question. Around 1910, the demands of the BSF, which was supported by bourgeois women, became more moderate and it generally moved away from its egalitarian worldview towards a dualistic one: women and men should complement each other in their traditional spheres of activity in solving social problems as a whole. With this change of position, the BSF moved closer to the other traditional civil women's associations, especially the SGF and the DVHS.

Together with the Swiss Association for Women's Suffrage (SVF) and the SGF, the BSF supported the Greulich and Göttisheim motion in 1918 to introduce women's suffrage. In 1923 the BSF initiated the establishment of the Swiss Central Office for Women's Professions and the Association for Careers Advice and Apprentice Care . In 1928 the BSF organized the SAFFA together with other associations .

post war period

During the Great Depression and World War II , the BSF fell silent. Like other women's organizations, he took part in intellectual national defense and motivated its members to get involved in one of the numerous local non-profit women's organizations or in the women's service to help alleviate the consequences of the war and general mobilization . On February 6, 1945, the BSF submitted a petition to the Federal Council demanding that the Opprecht postulate be implemented . The women of the BSF were of the opinion that Swiss women should have a say in the AHV , maternity insurance and family protection .

In 1949 the BSF was reorganized with the aim of becoming the umbrella organization for all Swiss women's associations. In the course of this restructuring, the women's secretariat was incorporated into the BSF as a separate office. The workers' movement ( SP women ) was also represented in the “new” BSF ; However, the Swiss Catholic Women's Association and the Swiss Charitable Women's Association still refused to join the political direction of the BSF.

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the BSF made a glamorous public appearance in 1950 and filled on 22/23. April 1950 with his delegates and guests of honor the large hall of the casino in Bern. Federal Councilor Max Petitpierre brought congratulations on behalf of the Federal Council, but left the BSF's long-term struggle for equal rights for men and women unmentioned.

In 1958, a few months before the federal vote on women's suffrage , the BSF organized the Second SAFFA with the aim of making it clear to Swiss men that women's suffrage neither threatened them nor would it encourage women to leave their traditional positions. The appearance of Iris von Roten's book Women in the Playpen permanently destroyed this strategy and, in the opinion of many, was responsible for the failure of the vote on February 1, 1959.

From 1970 the BSF (from 1971 under the new name of the Federation of Swiss Women's Organizations ) lost its importance in view of the finally successful acquisition of women's suffrage and new political actors; Even the 4th and 5th Swiss Women's Congress in 1975 and 1996 could not stop this development. As a result, the Schweizer Frauenblatt and the press and documentation services were discontinued; some functions were taken over by the Federal Commission for Women's Issues. The BSF now also accepted member organizations which were not formed exclusively by women, but which advocate women's rights. In 1986 the secretariat of the BSF was relocated to Worblaufen , where the Gosteli Foundation has been located since 1982, which archives the history of the women's movement and to which all archival documents of the BSF were handed over from 1986 to 2006.

alliance F

In 1999 the BSF was renamed alliance F and the organizational structure was fundamentally renewed. On April 11, 2008, over 12,000 people took part in a sympathy rally for Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and a demonstration for more respect for political institutions on the Bundesplatz in Bern , which various women's associations led by the alliance F had called for. The then president of alliance F, Rosmarie Zapfl , originally expected around 5,000 participants. Since November 2014, the alliance F has been led by the two incumbent National Councilors Maya Graf (Green BL) and Kathrin Bertschy (Green Liberals BE) in the co-presidium.

Prominent representatives (selection)

See also


  • Silke Redolfi: Women build the state. 100 years of the Federation of Swiss Women's Organizations; 1900-2000 . Verlag der NZZ, Zurich 2000, ISBN 3-85823-819-8 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Silke Redolfi: Women build the state. 100 years of the Federation of Swiss Women's Organizations; 1900-2000 . Verlag der NZZ, Zurich 2000, ISBN 3-85823-819-8 , p. 203
  2. ^ Website of the Gosteli Foundation
  3. ^ Elisabeth Joris: Federation of Swiss Women's Organizations (BSF). In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  4. NZZ-Online from April 11, 2008
  5. ^ Daniel Foppa: rally for Widmer-Schlumpf. Archived from the original on April 13, 2008 ; accessed on November 27, 2018 .
  6. Kathrin Alder: A dual leadership for women's concerns . In: NZZ , November 15, 2015. Digital edition