UN session on women’s economic empowerment: Switzerland campaigns for equal pay

Press releases, 13.03.2017

The 61st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will kick off on 13 March 2017 in New York. Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work is the focus of this year’s session. Equal pay will be one of the focal points of Switzerland's efforts during the session. Representing the country is a delegation led by FDFA Secretary General Benno Bättig and Director of the Federal Office for Gender Equality Sylvie Durrer. Together with other partners, Switzerland is launching the Global Equal Pay Coalition, which seeks to eliminate wage inequality by 2030.

Ambassador Benno Bättig, Swiss delegation, the 61st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
The Swiss delegation, led by FDFA Secretary General Benno Bättig (2nd from the right) and Director of the Federal Office for Gender Equality Sylvie Durrer (2nd from the left). EDA

A gender pay gap exists in every country in the world. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), women earn 23 per cent less than men worldwide. This disparity is detrimental not just to women and their families but to society as a whole. According to the delegation’s co-head, FDFA Secretary General Benno Bättig, “the fight against wage inequality and the economic empowerment of women benefit the whole economy. It pays to invest in equality”. That is why women’s economic empowerment is a core component of Switzerland’s foreign policy in addition to being a key domestic policy concern. At this year’s CSW session, Switzerland will also push for unpaid care and domestic work to be better recognised and valued, and for a strengthening of the role played by the private sector on this issue.

Today, in collaboration with its partners Switzerland will launch the Global Equal Pay Coalition, an initiative which aims to eradicate wage inequality by 2030. With the equal pay self-test tool for companies, Logib, Switzerland is playing a pioneering role in the promotion of equal pay. This instrument, which is available in four languages, has attracted keen interest worldwide. Logib offers companies with more than 50 employees a simple way to find out whether their equal pay policy is being respected.

Also leading the Swiss delegation is Sylvie Durrer, Director of the Swiss Federal Office for Gender Equality at the Federal Department of Home Affairs. Beth Krasna, a member of the board of the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) who also sits on the board of various companies will be part of the delegation alongside representatives of the Federal Administration, civil society (NGO-Coordination post Beijing and Alliance F). Joining them is a young representative from the FDFA’s Youth Rep programme, a Swiss National Youth Council project run in collaboration with the FDFA.

The CSW is the UN's central body responsible for improving gender equality. The official delegations will be joined at this year’s CSW session, which runs from 13-24 March, by over 8,000 NGO representatives.

Further information:

Federal Office for Gender Equality
UN Women / CSW61 (en)
Women’s Human Rights App (en)

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs