There will be no national women’s museum in Switzerland. Unlike the National which had accepted it in June 2021 – the year of the 50th anniversary of women’s right to vote -, the Council of States refused a motion to this effect from MP Marianne Streiff-Feller (PEV / BE). He tacitly preferred a “network of third parties” on the history of equality.
The National Evangelical Councilor recalled that history had been written mainly by men speaking of men. “Switzerland does not play a pioneering role with regard to women’s rights and to this day there is still no national center that would deal with Swiss history from a female point of view,” she explained. She therefore proposed an establishment to cover the history of women, their real life and the evolution of their role within society. The theme of equality was also to occupy a prominent place.
But the Council of States did not want it. He considered that this project implied the obligation to revise the law on museums and collections. He preferred the creation of “a concept for a network of third parties on the history of equality between women and men in Switzerland”. This network will be made up of institutions outside the Federal Administration. Their mission will be to inventory and safeguard cultural heritage, as well as mediation in this area. It is up to the Federal Council to provide funding for it in the next cultural message in 2024.
Many institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries or even universities, have the necessary expertise in this area, explained the former director of the Federal Office of Culture, Isabelle Chassot (Center / FR) , for the committee. Such a network has several advantages, according to her: it is more agile and diversified, whether culturally or linguistically, than a museum. According to the commission, “such an approach offers a much more dynamic and forward-looking vision”.
The amended motion goes back to the National.