Trade unions and gender equality (SynEga)


The SynEga project is a study on the gender equality policy of trade unions in Switzerland since 1990. How is the policy that targets gender equality within the trade unions and in other occupational contexts developed and implemented? What factors are beneficial, and what factors act as impediments?

Project description (completed research project)

Despite important steps forward for women, far-reaching inequalities between men and women still persist in Switzerland and other countries. Although this is a known fact, little research has been done, particularly in Switzerland, on how the trade unions contribute towards the promotion of gender equality or the rise and persistence of inequalities. Trade unions play an important role in working life and, in Switzerland and Europe, they have recently made gender equality one of their policy goals. For this reason, the project will analyse how gender equality policies are implemented within and by the trade unions of Switzerland and investigate what measures they use to promote gender equality within their own ranks and in a broader context.


The SynEga project will analyse how the trade unions mobilise for gender equality and implement the relevant measures. In addition, it will learn more about the behaviour of actors in the trade unions with regard to issues such as division of labour among men and women activists or jobs and careers. Finally, it will examine the role of gender relations in these steps towards equality or inequality. The project will study trade unions in the two umbrella organisations (Swiss Federation of Trade Unions and Travail Suisse) in the German, French, and Italian speaking regions of Switzerland. The methods used will include document analysis, group and individual interviews, observation and questionnaires.

Original title

Les syndicats et l’égalité entre les sexes en Suisse. Politiques, mobilisations, pratiques

Project leader(s)

  • Prof. Olivier Fillieule, Institut d’études politiques et internationales (IEPI), Universität Lausanne
  • Dr. Martina Avanza, IEPI, Universität Lausanne
  • Dr. Philippe Blanchard, IEPI, Universität Lausanne
  • Dr. Hervé Rayner, IEPI, Universität Lausanne
  • Vanessa Monney, IEPI, Universität Lausanne
  • Gilles Descloux, IEPI, Universität Lausanne
  • Stéphanie Monay, IEPI, Universität Lausanne



Further information on this content


Prof. Olivier Fillieule Institut d'études politiques et internationales (IEPI) Université de Lausanne Anthropole 5119 1015 Lausanne +41 21 692 31 44

Products of the project