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Swiss Parliament Gives Dress Rule the Cold Shoulder

Sep 1, 2021

In a move described as a “small revolution”, Switzerland has overturned a ban on women showing their shoulders in parliament.

Hans Stöckli, president of the Swiss parliament, said the ban was “antiquated”.

The dress code was in fact only implemented four years ago, after a female news journalist was removed from the chamber for showing too much flesh. The reporter’s attire, the newspaper Tages-Anzeiger sarcastically noted, had “unduly restricted the ability to concentrate of many of the nobility”.

Now the revised dress code stipulates women must wear clothing “appropriate to their official status”. Despite the relaxation, the suited dress code for male members of parliament won’t be changing: “Unfortunately, we men still have to wear ties,” lamented Balthasar Glättli, president of Switzerland’s Green Party.

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