Study title
The female political elite in Switzerland - Survey of Swiss female politicians
Ref study 366
Study language French
Contributing institutions
  • Femmes
  • Politique
  • Carrière professionnelle
Geographical space
  • Switzerland
In 1979, when the first report of the Federal Commission for Women's Issues (FCWI) was published, the number of political mandates conferred on Swiss women was estimated at about 800. Ten years later, in the framework of the present study, the systematic data collection on the (under-)representation of women in politics has produced a figure of 3,800 political mandates. Are we not witnessing the emergence of a new ruling "class"? Who are these women who break with the traditional division of gender roles? What are the motivations that make them to engage in an elective function? How have they started out in their political career? In what material and psychological conditions do they assume their mandate?
The objective of this research project is to study women's access to political decision-making, their socio-political profile, the construction of their political career and the interactions and conflicts that arise between their political function and their feminine identity.
Methods (description)
Enquête écrite auprès d'une échantillon représentatif de 630 femmes assumant un mandat législatif ou exécutif. Ceci aux tous les trois niveaux fédéral, cantonal et communal.
Methods (instruments)
Replicated study No
  • Ballmer-Cao, Thanh-Huyen; Wenger, Ruth. 1989. L'élite politique féminine en Suisse. Enquête auprès du personnel politique féminin suisse. Société suisse de sociologie, Zurich, janvier 1989.
  • Ballmer-Cao, Thanh-Huyen. 1986. Nos représentantes dans la politique: Informations préliminaires sur le projet de recherche "Elite politique féminine en Suisse". In: Frauenfragen, Eidg. Kommission für Frauenfragen, Nr. 2, 1986.
Financed by
Ethical approval No
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates) Web
Date created 10.04.2018
Date modified 10.04.2018
Start - End date 01.09.1985 - 28.12.1988