Gender equality office wins UN award

Bern, 30.05.2018 - The Federal Office for Gender Equality FOGE was presented with the 2018 United Nations Public Service Award. The award, which recognises contributions made by public administrations towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, went to Switzerland for its commitment to equal pay.

The FOGE’s ‘Switzerland Advancing Gender Equal Pay SAGE’ initiative achieved first place in the UN’s prestigious international competition in the category ‘Promoting gender responsive public services to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Two pillars

The initiative launched in 2015 aims to eliminate unequal pay, which still persists in Switzerland, by focusing on the role model function of the public sector. The initiative consists of two pillars. The first involves the development of a self-test tool known as Logib, which enables companies with at least 50 employees to find out simply, anonymously and free of charge, whether they meet equal pay requirements. The second consists of the ‘Charter for equal pay in the public sector’, which provides for regular equal pay audits in the administrations and related entities of signatory cantons and communes, as well as in their public procurement and subsidy arrangements. Thanks to the initiative, a growing number of companies are conducting equal pay audits. To date over half of all the cantons and all major local authorities have signed the charter along with the Federal Administration, thereby sending a strong signal to all employers in Switzerland.

Most important international recognition

The UN award is the most important international recognition of excellence in public service. The annual competition rewards creative and innovative contributions on the part of public institutions. This is the fifteenth year in which the award has been presented.

The principle of equal pay has been enshrined in the Federal Constitution since 1981 with provisions set out in detail in the Gender Equality Act since 1996. The Federal Council’s 2015-2019 legislature plan sets out firm measures on gender equality and aims to reinforce efforts to achieve equal pay. The initiative recognised today contributes significantly to that goal.

Address for enquiries

Sabine Baumgartner, FOGE Public Relations Officer
+41 58 46 329 31


General Secretariat FDHA

Federal Office for Gender Equality