Swiss women claim majority of seats in Cabinet

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 22, 2010 10:37

 
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GENEVA — Women now control a majority of the seats in Switzerland's executive branch, less than four decades after the country became one of Europe's last to grant women the right to vote in national elections.

Social Democract lawmaker Simonetta Sommaruga was elected to the Cabinet in a fourth round of parliament voting Wednesday.

A battle over a second vacant seat was scheduled for later Wednesday, but Sommaruga's win gives women four of the seven posts in Switzerland's unique ruling Cabinet.

Swiss women have participated in national votes since 1971, after Swiss men granted women full suffrage in a nationwide referendum. One Swiss canton, Appenzell Inner-Rhodes, blocked women from local elections until 1990.

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