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Feminising street names and place names in the City of Geneva: round two

With the name changes having become official in March 2021 and supported by the Canton, the City of Geneva is maintaining its commitment to a more equal gender balance in public places. In September it will submit an application to the Cantonal Nomenclature Commission (CCN) to feminise 14 street and place names in the city.

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Plaquette genevoise pour la féminisation des noms de rue

On 1 March 2021 ten streets and places in the City of Geneva were renamed, based on biographies produced by the 100Elles* project. Subsequently, a new series of proposals has been identified by a working group consisting of female historians and cantonal and municipal representatives, with a view to submitting an application to the CCN in September 2021.

14 new proposals to raise female visibility  

The 14 proposals being made today highlight the range of the paths taken by these women, who contributed to the history of Geneva at different periods. Writers, artists, defenders of human rights, scientists, doctors and journalists, they meet all the criteria for having a street named after them and deserve this official recognition. The choice of street and place names identified for a change reflects the desire to remove repetitions, the need to clarify the name of some streets or sections of streets in the city and the historic suitability for the paths of the women selected. 

By continuing this process, explains Administrative Councillor Alfonso Gomez, “The City of Geneva is keen to continue gradually increasing female representation in public spaces and acknowledge the fact that the women of Geneva are fully fledged citizens, many of whom contributed to our shared history.” The CCN will give an initial decision at its meeting in September, which will then be approved by the State Council. People and companies affected by the potential change of name are being informed of what is happening by post. They will be sent all the information needed in good time to make it a smooth transition. 

The genesis of the project

By way of reminder, the 100Elles* project (www.100elles.ch) was set up on the streets of the city in 2019. Thanks to the commitment of female historians from the University of Geneva and members of the L’Escouade association, 100 biographies have been drafted of women who died more than ten years ago and who left their mark on the history of Geneva and/or Switzerland – the two criteria set by the Cantonal Nomenclature Commission (CCN) for naming streets. 100 plaques were then produced and put up in the streets of Geneva beneath the official street names. The project was accompanied by a series of publicity events and the publication of a collection of the biographies, and struck a deep chord. Among the reactions that followed, motion M-2536 was submitted to the Grand Council and then accepted in June 2019. This calls on the State Council to work with municipalities to rename at least 100 major streets and squares after female personalities who had an impact on the history of Geneva within three years.

A table showing the 14 locations potentially affected by a change of name can be downloaded below. 

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Article modifié le 25.08.2021 à 13:26