(AP) - Swiss women for the first time captured most of the seats in the country's seven-member executive branch Wednesday, brushing aside
The tilt in the balance of power came as parliament in
"We've reached the goal after a centurylong struggle," said Ruth Dreifuss, a former Swiss Cabinet member who in 1999 served as the country's first female president.
Unlike most countries headed by presidents or prime ministers,
The Cabinet already had three women and two men representing five parties.
"We've shown that women fight together, instead of against one another," Sommaruga said.
The four-three majority makes
For Swiss women, the vote culminates a slow path to gender equality in politics - even if advocates here say women still lag in business and academia.
Swiss women didn't get the right to vote or run in national elections until 1971 and the first Swiss woman wasn't elected to the Cabinet until 1984.
But now both houses of parliament are presided over by women, and Economics Minister Doris Leuthard holds the country's rotating presidency until the end of the year.
The slow change partly reflects
Some of that resistance remains. The male Swiss organizer of what is being promoted as a first global antifeminism meeting in October expressed concern about having so many women in government.
"We all know that when lots of women work together there can be more problems," said Rene Kuhn.
Claudine Esseiva - a member of the pro-business Free Democrats who strongly supported a fifth woman for the Cabinet, her defeated party colleague Karin Keller-Sutter - said the battle for gender parity isn't over.
The executive branch's composition could change again next year, when all seven posts are up for re-election. The Swiss people will first vote on a new parliament and that body then chooses the Cabinet, so having a majority of women again is hardly a sure thing.
"It may only last for one year," Esseiva said.