Quota for women in sports associations
Viola Amherd rows back
Federal Councilor Viola Amherd wants to give Swiss sports organizations new ethical guidelines. Part of the package of measures is a women’s quota for the heads of sports associations. After fierce resistance, the Federal Council does not go as far as planned.
Published: 8:18 am
Updated: 10:47 a.m
Be it in the army or in sports: Central Federal Councilor Viola Amherd has made the advancement of women a priority.
Daniel BallmerEditor Politics
The reactions were devastating. Most parties spoke out against the plans of Sports Minister Viola Amherd (60) last summer, as did the cantons – and the sports associations anyway.
The mid-Federal Councilor is committed to promoting women and wants to implement it in sport too: those who don’t promote women get less money. Similar to Post, SBB or the state-owned armaments company Ruag, Amherd wanted to oblige sports organizations with the new sports promotion ordinance from 2025 to achieve a 40 percent share of women at the top.
The Swiss gymnasts then saw that volunteering was “severely strained”. According to Swiss Badminton, it is already extremely challenging to find volunteers. A quota makes it even more difficult. The American Football Association even feared for the existence of many clubs.
Now only quota for national associations
The package of measures was also controversial among the parties. Amherd’s plans even went too far for her own Mitte party. Effective regulation is welcome, but it must be proportionate and as easy to implement as possible.
So far, Amherd has stuck to her goals. But now she has to row back at least a bit. The entire Federal Council decided on Wednesday that the binding quota should only apply to the Swiss Olympic umbrella organization and national sports associations. The government gives in to fierce resistance, if only a little.
«Aware that change takes time»
However, regional associations and clubs should strive even more for balanced gender representation. Swiss Olympic should develop an industry solution for this. Quotas are not mandatory.
Swiss Olympic President Jürg Stahl (55) was satisfied: Mixed bodies are more than valuable and Swiss Olympic and the associations depend on both sexes.
“I am aware that change takes time,” explained Amherd. Those who have not yet achieved the goal should be able to justify this for the time being and show how they intend to achieve this in the future. At the same time, however, Amherd made it clear that after the transition period had expired, things were serious: “If someone does not comply with the guidelines, the federal government can reduce, refuse or reclaim contributions,” Amherd clarified in front of the media.
Difficulties for associations remain
Even if the requirements have now been weakened somewhat: many sports associations will not be happy. Previous efforts to find women in a targeted manner have been unsuccessful, for example the swimming association Swiss Aquatics had explained to Blick.
The Schwingerverband, on the other hand, has so far strictly rejected a fixed quota. Associations and clubs should continue to be able to organize themselves. The football association SFV also spoke out clearly against quotas. Now they will have to put up with it anyway.