Swiss Parliament Elects Second Woman to Cabinet

For the first time in history, two women will serve as ministers in the Swiss cabinet.

Ruth Metzler’s 126 to 118 victory over her Rita Roos marked the first time that Switzerland’s parliament has elected more than one woman to its cabinet. Interior Minister Ruth Dreifuss had been the sole female cabinet member prior to the recent election.

Thirty-four-year-old Metzler is a lawyer and financial expert who currently leads the finance department of Appenzell-Innerrhoden, a small and relatively uninfluential state. She was not expected to win election to the post over the better-known Roos.

In her acceptance speech, Metzler said, “I want to thank you for the confidence you have shown in me as a woman and especially as a representative of a younger generation, which so far had not been able to have a full voice in politics.”


Reuters - March 11, 1999

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