Social security and health

Women are affected by poverty more than men
Women's poverty is often due to the division of labour along gender lines, as a result of which women perform less paid work than men and take on unpaid work, such as looking after children, running the household, caring for elderly, sick or disabled relatives, to a much greater extent than men. Compared with other countries, the current maternity insurance in Switzerland is modest. Pensions and invalidity benefits are primarily linked to employment. This disadvantages women and is directly expressed in lower pension entitlements.

Poverty following separation and divorce
Separation and divorce give rise to higher living costs, since two separate households then need to be run. At the same time, for many women the opportunities to earn a higher income by working more are limited - childcare, previous career breaks and fewer hours worked all have a negative impact. As a result of current legal practice, if the income is insufficient for two households (so-called shortfalls), divorced women and their children are more frequently and more greatly dependent on social assistance than divorced men.

Relevant publications and position papers by the FCWI are available in German, French and, partly, in Italian.