1971 and all that - Women’s Right to Vote in Switzerland

How did the discourses around the women's suffrage evolve over time in Switzerland?

1971 and all that

2021 marks the 50th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Switzerland: a perfect opportunity to investigate what led to the events in 1971 and what happened since then.

In our challenge, we focused on the discourse around women, feminism and women’s right to vote in Switzerland by analysing relevant newspaper articles. Our aim was to apply natural language processing methods on those texts that are accessible via the impresso app. This app - product of an SNF funded project - contains a huge number of digitised articles that were published between 1740 and 2000. It mainly features historical newspaper collections, but also the archives of Le Temps and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Some of the articles from the Impresso corpus are subject to copyright, therefore we cannot share them publicly.

In this corpus we wanted to identify characteristic topics that are related to women’s suffrage in Switzerland. We created a topic model and an interactive wordcloud in a Jupyter notebook. A first topic model which still has to be improved has been visualised. Further steps would be to visualize how the identified topics in the articles referring to the women's suffrage evolved over time, e.g. by a timeline slider.

ETH-BIB-Fackelumzug der Frauen für Frauenstimmrecht in Zürich-Com L12-0033-0013.tif

By Heinz Baumann, Comet Photo AG (Zürich) - This image is from the collection of the ETH-Bibliothek and has been published on Wikimedia Commons as part of a cooperation with Wikimedia CH. Corrections and additional information are welcome., CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=99507189

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