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Patriarchy heads out the door

The 2023 edition of Equality Week in the City of Geneva, entitled “Patriarchy heads out the door!”, invites the local population to question the numerous mechanisms underpinning economic gender inequality, be it in the professional or private sphere.

Semaine égalité 2023

Every year, alongside International Women’s Day, the City of Geneva explores a specific theme from the standpoint of gender and equality. This year, from 2 to 12 MarchEquality Week takes a closer look at economic gender inequalities. Co-organised by the municipal libraries and the Agenda 21 – Sustainable City Service together with numerous partner organisations, it uses different formats to question the numerous mechanisms underpinning these forms of discrimination.

Why do wage inequalities still exist today? How can we work towards genuine economic independence for women? If money has no smell, does it have a gender? Who performs the majority of “free” work? These questions are still relevant today. 

Ongoing inequalities

It is a recurrent and undeniable fact of life: wage and work inequalities can still be seen in Switzerland and women are particularly concerned by low wages. If the levers for action are first and foremost a matter for the federal and cantonal authorities, the City of Geneva has made every effort to promote wage equality within its administration for more than 15 years. And as Alfonso Gomez, Executive Councillor responsible for sustainable development, stresses, the results are there to be seen: “an analysis conducted in 2021 by an external organisation confirmed that the administration’s wage practices reflect gender equality. The City nevertheless also invests in other plans to combat the insecurity which affects women in particular, be it through support for associations promoting their professional insertion or its programme of actions against period poverty."

A programme worth its weight in gold

This 9th edition of Equality Week falls under the banner of this global commitment. With a programme suitable for everyone, school workshops and the publication of a bibliography, it also aims to highlight the fact that economic gender inequality does not only relate to the professional sphere. Be it with regard to performing domestic chores and “care” work or sharing spending in a couple, the question of economic gender inequalities permeates every aspect of life, even the most private ones.

With this in mind, some of the week’s highlights include French journalist and author, Titiou Lecoq opening Equality Week with a discussion focussing on her recent work “Le couple et l’argent. Pourquoi les hommes sont plus riches que les femmes” (Couples and money. Why men are richer than women). An exhibition will recall the demands of the Mouvement pour un salaire au travail ménager (movement for paid household work), which was active in Geneva in the 1970s. Questions relating to retirement for women will also be a key topic on the programme while a discussion will examine the importance of the work performed by women, be it paid or unpaid. As stressed by Sami Kanaan, Executive Councillor responsible for Culture, “This programme has been designed so that we work together to ensure a more equitable recognition of women’s work. We all have something to gain.”

Finally, a themed bibliography will also be published especially for the occasion, highlighting the extensive collections of the municipal libraries, the Filigrane Library and the libraries of the University of Geneva. And we cannot say it enough, these resources are freely accessible!


Anne Bonvin Bonfanti

Département des finances, de l'environnement et du logement

Conseillère de direction

Contact médias

5, rue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville




Tél. +41 22 418 22 43


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Article modifié le 22.02.2023 à 15:21