​Dozens of life-size female figures will take over the Parliament Building from 26 October to 17 December. The silhouettes made from wood by women artists from all over Switzerland represent women’s rightful presence in parliament.

The «Women in Parliament» exhibition is a national art project organised by the Swiss Society of Women Artists (SSWA) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the rights of women in Switzerland to vote and to stand for election. The project highlights issues raised by AllianceF, by the women’s session in autumn 2021 and not least by many women in Switzerland.

Each figure is the work of one of the participating artists. Each figure expresses a hidden desire to achieve a shared future of gender equality. The ballot papers refer to the long struggle women have had to achieve what can be celebrated today. Personal statements written by the artists along the edges of the figures underscore their individual presence, while a light coat of white paint on all figures characterises the works of art as an ensemble.

Photo credits: Andrea Nottaris

Elfi Thoma, the president of the SSWA’s Basel section, believes that art is an appropriate way of raising awareness about women’s right to vote and gender equality. She organised the first exhibition, «Wir haben die Wahl» (we have the choice) at the Basel Town Hall in 2016 and has now launched the ‘Women in Parliament’ art project at national level.

The artists know from their own experience the struggle for recognition and equal opportunity in the art scene. In 1902, several women artists, who had tried in vain to join the male-dominated artists’ societies of the time, grouped together to form what is now the Swiss Society of Women Artists (SSWA).

Today, nearly 120 years after its founding, SSWA is successfully drawing attention to the important interplay between culture and politics in society.

Photo credits: Andrea Nottaris. Credits: Artwork by Heike Müller

Artists of the 67 figures

Gabriella Affolter, Leuzigen / Rosalba Arcilla, Adliswil / Anna Aregger, Biel-Benken / Sandra Autengruber, Emmen / Beatrice Bader, Nennigkofen / Sabine Jo Balerna, Erlach / Helen Basler-Märchy, Niederlenz / Jacqueline Borner, Sissach / Ursula Bovey-Steiner, Bern / Manuela Brügger, Lützelflüh-Goldbach / Zoja Brülisauer, Basel / Cristina Calderara Jaime, Arosio / Krystyna Diethelm, Biel / Karola Dischinger, Bözberg / Erika Diserens, Lugano / Evelyn Dönicke, Muttenz / Cornelia Egli, Gebersdorf / Y.Nia Farzaneh, Hünibach / Denise Felber, Bern / Rosmarie Fischer-Bernard, Basel / Elisabeth Fux Mattig, Brig / Esther Gischig, Baltschieder / Sylvia Goeschke, Bottmingen / Christine Götti, Therwil / Agnes Guhl, Sion / Elsbeth Gyger, Basel / Christiane Haefelin, Arisdorf / Irène Hänni Epp, Goldau / Chantal Hediger, Schmerikon / Sylvia Heusser-Zihlmann, Sissach / Irina Hofmann, Richterswil / Regula Hurter, Basel / Christine Jenzer-Montet, Niederwangen / Ama Mülthaler, Magden / Christina Kläfiger, Kerzers / Katharina Kunz-Holdener, Reinach / Sibylle Laubscher, Arisdorf / Elena Lichtsteiner, Arisdorf / Esther Link, Basel / Esther Löffel, Baar / Jardenah Masé-Goldberg, Ziefen / Margret Marquardt, Ermatingen / Irène Merz, Glarus / Doris Michel, Binningen / Brigitt Müller Hunziker, Basel / Heike Müller, Basel / Judith Mundwiler, Buus / Andrea Nottaris, Olten / Ursula Pfister, Gelterkinden / Jsabella Portmann, Horgen & Chur / Loredana Selene Ricca, Locarno / Ruth Righetti, Zürich / Heike Röhle, Konolfingen / Sandra Schawalder, Eggenwil / Cornelia Schmid, Rasshäusern / Sonja Schmid, Bichelsee / Regina Simon, Basel / Angelika Steiger, Arlesheim / Daniela Theiler, Rovio / Yvonne Thomann, Basel / Renate Thüler, Rümlang / Heinke Torpus, Sissach / Esther Tschudin, Pfeffingen / Friederike Vesely, Adliswil / Nora Vest, Basel / Maritta Winter Lehmann, Wyler b.Wollerau / Helga Zumstein, Brig-Glis

Details of how to visit the exhibition follow.