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First Female President of the Swiss Confederation Visits the World YWCA

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First Female President of the Swiss Confederation Visits the World YWCA
Jane Bennett, Laurence Levrat-Pictet, Ruth Dreifuss, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Marlies Petrieg, Sylvie Jacquat, Fiona Wilkie

The World YWCA was proud to receive Mrs. Ruth Dreifuss, a former and first female President of the Swiss Confederation, at the World Office in Geneva on April 19, 2011. Mrs Dreifuss is a member of the Swiss Support Committee for World Council 2011.  She was joined by Marlies Petrig, the Chair of the Steering Committee of the YWCA/YMCA Switzerland, and Laurence Levrat-Pictet, former World YWCA staff member and volunteer. Mrs. Dreifuss spent the afternoon at the YWCA, meeting various staff members and learning more about the work of the World YWCA. At the meeting, Mrs Dreifuss confirmed her availability to participate in various event around the International Women's Summit and to play an ambassadorial and advisory role, both within the country and with the invited guests.

Mrs. Dreifuss is a champion of women’s issues both in Switzerland and abroad. Throughout her rich political career she has won several Swiss referendums, including a revision of the Health Insurance Bill, the 10th revision of the social security system, a drug policy based on prevention, therapy, help and rehabilitation, and a law regarding the film industry and its development. Mrs. Dreifuss also advocates for the rights of illegal migrant women in Europe. Currently she is involved as the Vice-Chancellor for the University for Peace, based in Costa Rica. She is also engaged in various Commissions, including one on ending the death penalty and addressing international drug problems. She was actively involved in the 2009 Liberia Colloquium and was one of the women leaders who supported the convening of this event.

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary of the World YWCA, said “we are very grateful for Mme Dreifuss’s visit and looking forward to welcoming her at the International Women’s Summit (IWS) and World Council 2011.”

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