We have arrived at the last stop of our European tour – Zurich! It will be our fifth exploratory walk and represents a good time to draw our first conclusions before traveling around the world for the next six months.
For three brief days we stayed in a medical student residence located in the city center, which allowed us to discover student life in Zurich.
As soon as we arrived, we conducted our training with Lo Punkt, a LGBT student NGO founded by Sonia and now lead by Deborah. As we talked about the specific issues facing Zurich, it seemed that expressing difference in Zurich is often a problem.
So we decided to focus our walk and questionnaire on this issue.
We decided to do a shorter walk than usual of one hour and half. Indeed, right after our diversity walk, we were invited to the Welcome CafÃ© for the LGBT refugees staying in Zurich. This offered the occasion to meet Simone, the organizer of this meeting, and to ask her some questions about this specific issue in Zurich.
The next step for Womenability is the United States, with three walks schedule in three different cities: New Heaven, Baltimore and Houston.
1. What are your three major dates of your political career?
– Summer 1976: I helped collecting signatures for a popular initiative in order to improve the air quality and got involved actively in politics for the first time.
– Spring 1999 and Spring 2009: The people of ZÃ¼rich elected me first as member of the City Parliament and ten years later as Mayor of the City of ZÃ¼rich.
2. Gender and city planning in Zurich, concretely it is :
City planning in ZÃ¼rich is an integral process. For best results all dimensions and factors, including gender aspects, are represented in this process. What is important too: Having women in the planning teams. This is what we do in general. It is our goal to have at least 35% woman in the upper management positions in the city administration.
3. What the city of Zurich is planning to do to continue to improve its streets for women?
98% of the women in ZÃ¼rich like living here. More than three out of four women feel save when alone in the streets after midnight, a percentage that encreased by 10 points in the last six years. Our approach mentioned above pays off and we want to continue with it.
4. Why cities have a specific leverage when it comes to fighting against gender inequalities?
Cities like ZÃ¼rich are pioneers and forerunners in all kind of social trends. Models and solutions for a good living together that are tried out in cities have the potential to become standards for our society in general.
5. Do you think international cooperation with cities can be important regarding that matter?
Sharing know-how and exchanging experiences with others helps to find better solutions for specific challanges we are faced with. Itâ€™s always interesting to see what other cities do in this respect.