Former National Councilor Judith Stamm dies

Judith Stamm, president of the Swiss non-profit society and the Ruetli Commission, during a press conference at Hotel Balance in Lucerne on Thursday, April 20, 2006.  (Keystone/Urs Fleuler)
Judith Stamm in 2006. (archive)

Build: Keystone

Former Lucerne CVP national councilor Judith Stamm has died at the age of 88. By the late 1990s, she fought vigorously for women’s emancipation.

In recent years, however, it has gone silent about the controversial women’s rights activist. On his 80th birthday, he said that he did not stop doing political work. “At some point it will be over. You know what you can achieve and what you can’t.”

She was completely satisfied with her life, she said at the time. Even though it was her “reserve life” – women of her generation were still generally destined for marriage and motherhood. “But I grew old as a single working woman.”

equality movement icon

Judith Stamm is considered a symbol of the equality movement in Switzerland. The Left-bourgeoisie repeatedly showed the courage to take a different stand. She campaigned for a time limit solution in the form of criminal law regulation of abortion and advocated lowering the age of consent.

With this, Stam alienated the rural and conservative CVP circles. But in the city and the Jamaat he achieved top results in the elections.

The newly elected President of the National Council, Judith Stamm (CVP/LU), delights in the National Council following the election of the Supreme President of the National Council on Monday, November 25, 1996.  (Keystone/Lucas Lehmann)
The newly elected President of the National Council, Judith Stamm (CVP/LU), is happy in the National Council on November 25, 1996, following the election of the Supreme President in the National Council.

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Keystone/Lucas Lehmann

After the introduction of women’s suffrage and election rights in 1971, Stamm was one of the first Lucerne cantonal MPs. In 1983, after Josie Meier, she was the second Lucerne woman to be elected to the National Council, of which she was a member until 1999 and which she also presided in 1996/97.

In his political work, Stamm focused on social and environmental issues as well as law. With a resolution from 1986, he created the Federal Office for Gender Equality.

first woman police officer

At first, Stam was not the only one in the polls. Born in Schaffhausen, she grew up in Zurich, earned her doctorate in law, and joined the Lucerne Police Corps in 1960 as a police assistant. She rose to the rank of “Frau Oberleutnant” and was thus the first female police officer in Switzerland.

As a detective, she quickly became involved in reforming the practice of interrogating victims of sexual and violent crime. After 20 years in the Canton Police, she became a young prosecutor.

Judith Stam’s main concern has always been women. He also made a great effort. “Have a seat, ma’am”—the call, with which the Federal Women’s Commission, which she chaired from 1989 to 1996, asked men to sit back in the 1991 election year, was entirely to Stam’s taste: Accurate, courteous and provocative.

In 1986, Stam ran for federal councilor on his own, against the party and the parliamentary group, against Flavio Cotti and Arnold Koller. She clearly missed the election, but effectively marked her desire to represent women in the state government.

explosive attack target

From 1998 to 2007, Judith Stamm chaired the Swiss Non-Profit Society (SGG) and the Rutli Commission, which organizes federal celebrations on the Rutli meadow. Since the founding of the SGG in 1810, Stamm was the first woman to hold the position and the first person not to come from the canton of Zurich.

Due to disruptive actions, SGG had to restrict access to Rutli in those years. When he resigned as SGG president in autumn 2007, Stam, along with two other central Swiss politicians and SGG members, was the target of bomb attacks on mailboxes. No one got hurt.

Stam also received several awards for his commitment. In 2002 he received the Badge of Honor from the city of Lucerne. In 2011 he received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Law of the University of Basel. His biography was published in 2008 under the title “Beherzt and Fearless”. How Judith Stamm paved the way for women».

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