Interview: Simone Marty and Janina Bauer
SonntagsBlick: At the great women’s strike of 2019, you gave a great speech at Bundesplatz. A few months later, you and a whole series of politicians were elected to the National Assembly. What has this new generation achieved so far?
Tamara Funicello: A little bit. Progress is being made in combating violence, as we have seen this week. It would have been unthinkable to revise the Sexual Criminal Code in this way three years ago. Quantum leap.
The left wanted to go further: sex without consent would be considered rape.
“Yes means yes” the goal remains, it is now up to the National Council. The Council of States moved only because of feminist pressure. We will keep this pressure going.
where did you fail
It gets tough when it comes to money. Equality costs money, but the right-wing majority doesn’t want to pay for it. Every year women do unpaid work worth CHF 248 billion. This is the whole field of care work, in childcare, nursing or at home.
These are your numbers.
They come from the federal government. I am happy to offer more: the annual wage difference between men and women is 108 billion francs. The value of child care by grandparents is eight billion each year. This burden is borne by individuals rather than society.
Their solution is simply that the state should fund private decisions.
They act as if having children is something special.
yes. Is it more private?
It’s private so no one will have kids anymore. My point is: Swiss politics does too little for women and too little for women with children. If a woman makes economic calculations, she should stop having children. They take economic risks, become dependent on their partner, and are chronically overworked as their thanksgiving.
You say women shouldn’t have children anymore?
No, I don’t say that. Each woman must decide for herself. The truth is that children are a great poverty trap for women. Under the present circumstances, I say to women: perhaps you should let it be.
Have you also made this calculation for yourself personally?
It’s not about my private life.
Now family planning is private after all.
Family planning yes – family work no. It is about the level of the overall economy. At this level, children are not worth it for women. In marital relationships, they work 70 hours a week, 23 of which are more unpaid hours than their partners. They receive the receipt in old age, when they receive a pension that is a third lower than men.
According to this logic, our ancestors should not have given birth to us at all. Their conditions were very poor.
Fortunately for all of us, we don’t just operate according to this economic logic. Asking women to do everything for love and then pay the price for it is just plain cheeky. This community has given us so much time to finally move forward on equality! One million women demonstrated in the feminist strike. Where are we today? We don’t even have enough daycare places.
Why didn’t your party set up a large enough number of nurseries in the big cities it controlled?
The situation is better where the red and green rules. Taking care of children is the task of society as a whole. That’s why our daycare center initiative is needed.
There are also people who believe that society should stay away from their private lives.
Nobody wants to dictate anything. What is lacking is community support for a socially indispensable task. Women always suffer. We’re not going to change that by dusting off a little conservative understanding of roles and re-educating men.
In marital relationships, men are more likely to work for pay because their wages are higher. We finally need equal pay and reduced working hours. Then everyone has more time to work at home.
In times of skill shortages and inflation, do you think about low productivity?
Productivity does not decrease when working hours decrease. It has grown exponentially in recent decades without people taking advantage of it.
How much do you think we should work more?
As a first step, we could go down to 35 hours a week. The more productive we are, the less we should work. Why do we work as long as we worked before there were computers?
We don’t get into the coal mine at the age of eight anymore.
That is why we cut working hours in half at the beginning of the twentieth century. Productivity has exploded since the 1950s, but neither wages nor working hours have adapted to it.
We are certainly not going to solve these social problems with fewer children.
This is exactly the contradiction. Women should work as if they are not mothers and become mothers as if they are not working. However, the necessary framework conditions could not be created. The only people currently living on equal footing are those who can afford to outsource the care work.
Are you seriously claiming that only the rich are truly equal?
exactly. That’s why discussing AHV makes me so loathsome. It has turned into a discussion about equality, the core of which is about the rich and the poor. Those who can afford it retire at age 62. Those without cash stay until age 65 and rely on fringe benefits into old age. This is ridiculous!
We are getting older, and corrections to the AHV are inevitable.
When the AHV was introduced, we did not have director salaries of hundreds of thousands of francs per month …
Managers who deposit a lot more than they get in. The best thing that could happen to an AHV is from a left-handed perspective.
The best thing that can happen to an AHV is decent wages. For everyone, especially for women.