Interview: Simon Marti and Janina Bauer
SonntagsBlick: On the big women’s strike in 2019, you gave a brilliant speech at the Bundesplatz. A few months later, you and a whole series of politicians were elected to the National Council. What has this new generation achieved so far?
Tamara Funiciello: Too little. Progress is being made in combating violence, as we saw this week. The revision of the Sexual Penal Code in this form would have been unthinkable three years ago. A quantum leap.
The left wanted to move on: sex without consent would then be considered rape.
“Yes means yes” is still the goal, now it is up to the National Council. The Council of State moved only because of feminist pressure. We will continue this pressure.
Where did you fail?
It gets difficult when it comes to money. Gender equality costs money, but the right-wing majority will not pay for it. Every year, women perform unpaid work worth 248 billion Swiss francs. This is the whole area of care work, in childcare, nursing or in the household.
These are your numbers.
They come from the federal government. I am happy to be able to deliver even more: the annual pay gap between men and women is 108 billion francs. Childcare for grandparents is worth eight billion every year. This burden is borne by individuals rather than society.
Their solution is simply for the state to fund private decisions.
They behave as if having children is something private.
Yes. Is it even more private?
It is private until no one has children anymore. My point is: Swiss politics does too little for women and far too little for women with children. If women are doing financial calculations, they should stop having children. They take a financial risk, become dependent on their partner and become chronically overworked as a thank you.
You say women should not have children anymore?
No, I’m not saying that. Every woman should decide for herself. The fact is that children are a huge poverty trap for women. Under the current circumstances, I say to women: maybe you should just let it be.
Have you also made this calculation for yourself?
It’s not about my privacy.
Now, after all, family planning is private.
Family planning yes – family work no. It’s about the macroeconomic level. At this level, children are not worthwhile for women. In relationships, they work 70 hours a week, of which 23 are unpaid hours more than their partners. They receive the receipt in old age when they receive a third less pension than men.
According to this logic, our ancestors should not have born us at all. Their relationship was really bad.
Fortunately for all of us, we are not just working by this economic logic. To demand that women do everything for love and then pay the price for it is just naughty. We have given this community so much time to finally move forward with equality! One million women demonstrated in the feminist strike. And where are we today? We do not even have enough daycare places.
Why has your party not created a sufficiently large number of day care institutions in the big cities that it dominates?
The situation is better where red-green prevails. Childcare is a task for society as a whole. That is why our day care initiative is needed.
There are also people who believe that society should stay out of their privacy.
No one wants to dictate anything. What is missing is society’s support for a socially indispensable task. It is always the women who suffer. We do not change that by dusting off the conservative role understanding a bit and re-educating the men.
In relationships, men are more likely to work for pay because their pay is higher. We finally need equal pay and a reduction in working hours. Then everyone has more time to work from home.
In times of lack of skills and inflation, do you have in mind a reduction in productivity?
Productivity does not fall when working hours go down. It has increased massively in recent decades without people benefiting from it.
How much more do you think we should work?
As a first step, we could go down to a 35-hour week. The more productive we are, the less we should work. Why do we work as long as we did before there were computers?
We also do not go to the coal mine at the age of eight anymore.
Therefore, we halved working hours in the early 20th century. Productivity has exploded since the 1950s, but neither wages nor working hours have adapted to it.
We certainly do not solve these social problems with fewer children.
This is precisely the contradiction. Women must work as if they were not mothers and be mothers as if they were not working. However, the necessary framework conditions cannot be created. The only people currently living in gender equality are those who can afford to outsource care work.
Are you seriously claiming that only the rich are really equal?
Exactly. That’s why the AHV discussion makes me so hateful. It becomes a discussion of equality, whose core is about rich and poor. Those who can afford it retire at age 62. Those without money stay until the age of 65 and are dependent on supplementary benefits in old age. That’s absurd!
We are getting older, corrections to AHV are inevitable.
When AHV was introduced, we did not have executive salaries of several hundred thousand francs a month …
Leaders who pay much more than they get paid. The best that can happen to AHV from a leftist perspective.
The best thing that can happen to AHV is decent wages. For everyone, but especially for women.