Federal Commission for Women s Issues FCWI


Schwarztorstrasse 51
3003 Bern

Contact person

Elisabeth Keller
058 462 92 75

Operating range

  • National

Relevant duties in the context of human rights

The commission

  • informs the general public and raises awareness for the advancement of equal opportunities o participates in projects and campaigns
  • makes recommendations against discrimination and for equal opportunities between women and men
  • gives its opinions on draft laws
  • cooperates with national and international organisations (NGOs, commissions, authorities at all levels, international conventions)

Main work in the human rights field

  • Human rights monitoring
  • Lobbying / Networking / Human rights policies
  • Awareness raising, Campaigning
  • Information / Documentation
  • legal expertise

Protection of vulnerable groups

  • Poor, Unemployed
  • Foreigners / Migrants
  • Women
  • Children and adolescents
  • Victim of human rights abuses

Issues our organisation works on

  • Poverty
  • Prohibition of discrimination
  • Right to marry / forced marriage
  • Women’s rights / gender equality
  • Domestic violence
  • Political rights
  • Equality rights
  • Freedom of religion / freedom of thougt and conscience
  • Swiss human rights policy
  • Social rights / social security / social policiy

International Reference


  • Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women(CEDAW)

Main countries for human rights work


Current projects with human rights focus

  • The FCWI's Priorities 2016 are published on the Web in German, French and Italian:

  • Thematic Priorities 2015/2016:
    - Media study «Gender and Media in the Forefront of the Federal Elections 2015», together with the Federal Office of Communications OFCOM and the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR
    - Retirement provision
    - Position paper: Introduction of parental leave of 24 weeks
    - Women’s political participation: Federal elections 2015
    - 40 years of FCWI: Anniversary publications and celebration
    - Updating the online documentation «Women Power History»
    - Updating the practical guide on how to use CEDAW for lawyers and legal practitioners
  • Collaboration in different contexts on proposed federal legislation concerning, among others:
    - Equality of payment for women and men
    - Statement by the FCWI to the UN Committee on CEDAW Concerning Switzerland’s combined fourth/fifth state report to the Committee
    - Domestic violence (Istanbul Convention)
    - Compensation of former victims of compulsory social measures
    - Gender quotas
  • Periodical «Frauenfragen / Questions au féminin / Questioni femminili» (Women's Issues): published annually, including articles in German, French and Italian.
    - 2016: Media –Representations of Gender– Politics (in november)
    - 2015: Much accomplished – challenged again. 40 years of FCWI
    - 2014: Parental leave

Publications on human rights issues

  • Statement by the FCWI to the UN Committee on CEDAW Concerning Switzerland’s combined fourth/fifth state report to the Committee (December 2016)
  • Gender Equality and Cultural/Religious Practices. Position paper by the FCWI. Berne 2010
  • Women’s rights and human rights: How can the existing international momentum be put to better use in Switzerland’s gender equality policy? Abridged version of a study carried out on behalf of the Swiss Federal Commission for Women’s Issues. Author: Erika Schläppi. Berne 2008. 12 p.

  • Most of our publications are available in German and French. A selection of articles is available in Italian.

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