Studies on state structures furthering women's status and gender equality in Switzerland are lacking. This paper is first to provide insights on women's policy agencies (WPA) between 1970 and 2006 in Switzerland. What have been governments policies towards these state structures? Meta-analysis of 26 case studies based on document analysis and validating interviews give basic features of the cantonal backbone of Swiss women's policy machinery. Switzerland's lack of membership in the European Union makes it an interesting contrasting case in comparison to EU-centered research. Swiss WPAs emerged latter than in other countries and are rather weak. Federalism and direct democracy have marked range and maintenance of WPAs. Their ability to avoid dismantling after elections is noteworthy in light of developments during the last 15 years.
women's policy agencies
contribution to scientific community
2nd European Conference on Politics and Gender (ECPG)