Violanda Lanter-Koller
Violanda Lanter-Koller

Political Development

Party Affiliation

Profession/ Current priorities

Political Aims/ Priorities/ Assessments



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[ European Commission, DG V ]

© Jan 2001

European Database: Women in Decision-Making

Violanda Lanter-Koller

Political Development

1. What made you decide to go into politics?
I am living in this village, raising my children here. Out of that reason I think it is important to engage in district policy. Furthermore in Liechtenstein there are only a few women working in politics. I want to help represent women in Liechtenstein's politics.

2. Do/did you have a role model?
No. I admire anybody who is willing to engage himself or herself for the community. Esp. women. They are very unselfish when committing themselves to politics; they aren't lobbyists as often as men.

3. Is there a tradition of political involvement/ policy - making in your family?
No, not at all.

4. Have you been engaged in political grassroots activities before your involvement in party politics - e.g. in a citizens' rights, parents or initiative? If so, in which function, in which institution and when did your political carrier begin?
I have been a member of the "Feministische Juristinnen Ostschweiz" (organization of feminist lawyers in the eastern part of Switzerland) since my student years. My profession as a lawyer made me always very critical, observing the development of laws. 1999 I was elected district councilor in Ruggell.

5. What were important experiences you made?
The working atmosphere is very cooperative in our district council and women are not meant to be only decoration. These women are mostly genuine personalities. They are very self-assured and independent.

6. What made you decide to change from grassroots to party politics?
As I am still a member of the feminist lawyers I am also still doing grassroots politics. But I think it is nearly impossible to make political decisions without a party system. Therefore I became a member of one of the parties.

7. Were there disruptions in your political career?
No, It has been too short until now.

8. Where there disruptions in your biography that have/had an impact on your political career?
No.

9. How and why did your political objectives change during your political career?
At the beginning my aims were mere idealistic. Later on I realized what was realistic or not. Now I know better what is possible, what could or can be done; which aims are achievable.

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Party Affiliation

1. Motivation for joining a political party?
Those aspects I mentioned above.

2. Which party and when?
I am a member of the "Vaterländische Union" (VU). It is a liberal people's party, which respects the basic rights recording to constitution and social-economic aspects. 1998 I was elected into the community council.

3. Does your party have equal opportunity regulations?
It is a written principal of the VU to create equal opportunities in general. Furthermore the VU aims a well-balanced filling of all mandates with women and men.

4. Which office/function did you hold in your party at the beginning? How long after joining? How did you get into running for office?
I became a district councilor by public elections.

5. Did you have mentors within your party?
The "Frauenunion", a sub-organization concerning women's affairs, were backing and mentoring newcomers.

6. Did you ever change party affiliation?
No.

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Profession/ Current priorities

1. How does your profession relate to your political work?
I work part-time, my husband is a great help for me at home and for raising the children. But it is really a challenge to organize my life very exactly.

2. What kind of qualifications do you have?
I have a degree as a lawyer and have the permission for working as an attorney.

3. In what kinds of jobs did you work?
I passed a practical year at court and one at an attorney's office. After finishing university I worked for a Swiss health insurance company and for two trust companies in Liechtenstein.

4. Do you link your professional and political career?
Not directly. I never mixed it up, but I have to weigh both because of the immanent organization problem.

5. In which areas do you see your special competencies?
I tend to work practical, problem solving, efficient and integrative. And I like to work together with other people.

6. What are your political priorities?
Better integration of women in politics and economy, equal partnership between women and men, a future which is worth while in economical, environmental and social aspects.

7. Which are your main fields of action?
Family, school, women , environment, financial services, work, the general frameworks of society.

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Political Aims/ Priorities/ Assessments

1. Which objectives would you like to achieve through your political work?
Concerning my community activities I engage for good living conditions, esp. for fringe groups and children.

2. Do equal opportunities strategies in your opinion have an impact in your country in the promotion of women in decision-making- please specify?
EO strategies are very important to make people sensitive, esp. women themselves. Society gets used to developments like these and to progress.

3. Did you benefit from these strategies?
I think so. Unconsciously these strategies enable people to vote for women.

4. Do you see direct or indirect discrimination in "conventional" policy making? What is it that keeps women from committing themselves to politics?
Yes indirectly. And we often even don't realize it. Esp. women's position in society keeps them away from politics. Nowadays women's main task is still working for their families. It is nearly impossible to be a mother, a professional (even if you work part-time) and a politician at the same time.

5. What are the major obstacles that women need to overcome?
The impossibility to organize their surroundings and their partnerships surely are the major obstacles. But women themselves and their inherited role models make them feel insecure, and first they have to bring themselves to do politics.

6. What obstacles have you had to overcome in your own career?
From the very beginning I was supported, - even by men. Maybe my professional work made it easier for me. The real obstacle was inside myself, I was even thinking about reasons why I should not get nominated. But I don't regret it. To engage myself in politics was really a good choice. And I would dare it again!

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