I have heard from friends and colleagues about our vote. You know the vote against Minarets. What is interesting in this vote is that right parties in Europe congratulated Switzerland. Muslims are angry, and the debate goes on.

But what I wondered is how come? Why did the vote go through? It seems and this is probably going to get lost in the rhetoric. It was women.

Über die Hälfte der Stimmbürgerinnen von links bis rechts hätten sich für das Minarett-Verbot ausgesprochen. Ein wichtiger Grund seien feministische Argumente gewesen.

The vote would not have made it without the women. And this is what people should be paying attention to. Women across all political spectrums voted against the Minarets because they are voting against the discrimination of women in Islam.

Thus I feel that there are two messages:

  1. Do not ignore the needs of women because women will vote across political boundaries. Thus women have become a very strong electoral force.
  2. Islam better start dealing with women rights issues. While many Muslims are talking about the West and Europe they will fail in their own country if they do not address the rights of women. As other societies progress the Islamic countries can only suppress the rights of women for so long until a revolution is begun.

This change has also been found in Belgium, and the Netherlands. It is not only a Swiss thing.

For those that say, “hey Switzerland only allowed women to vote in 1971.” Fair enough, but women have come back with a vengeance. The top three political jobs are held by women in Switzerland, and the most interesting politicians in Switzerland are women. No times have changed here.

Times are changing…

BTW it seems had women not been mobilized as they were this vote would not have gone through. But of course the energized right wing party (SVP) is not going to clue into this. They think they won because they had the right issue… YEAH RIGHT!