Luzia Walch-Schädler
Luzia Walch-Schädler

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

Luzia Walch-Schädler

Political Development

1. What made you decide to go into politics?
Every man and every woman should make their own contribution to the community.

2. Do/did you have a role model?
Not really, but my mother was a very unconventional woman.

3. Is there a tradition of political involvement/ policy - making in your family?
My father used to be involved in politics, but at that time my mother did not even have the right to vote.

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 was engaged with parents initiatives, depending on my children's stage of development and with the youth commission, election commission and with parish council.
A year ago I was asked to become an activist during the election campaign for the local district council. As I am a member of Liechtenstein's smallest party and their first candidate in my village, a lot of conflicts arose. People have to get used to see a woman in politics. I think women are as capable as men in politics. I will and I can do it.

5. Were there disruptions in your political career?
My role as a mother was limiting my activity for a while. However, those years were also years of creativity and recreation.

6. How and why did your political objectives change during your political career?
They did not change. The most important thing for me is to say what I think - even if the price is a feeling of annoyance - and to make few compromises only.

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Party Affiliation

1. Motivation for joining a political party?
An organisation provides you with a better possibility to go public. It is an adequate platform to work for women's rights, humanitarian aspects of politics and especially politics concerning foreigners in my country.

2. Which party and when?
I have been a member of the party called "Freie Liste" since about the age of 20.

3. Does your party have equal opportunity regulations?
No, however, there is a clear general framework for equal rights for both 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 have never taken any other function than that of an ordinary member. Since 1999 I am a member of the community council by public elections but representing the party "Freie Liste".

5. Did you have mentors within your party?
Yes, there were a few women and men in the party who were and still are backing and helping me.

6. Did you ever change party affiliation?
In Liechtenstein you are associated with a party depending on the family you were born into. When I came of age I made my own decision and changed the party affiliation.

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Profession/ Current priorities

1. How does your profession relate to your political work?
The biggest problem for me is coming to terms with both profession and mother role as it is the problem for many women.

2. What kind of qualifications do you have?
After having been trained and worked as a teacher I had children. After my re-entry into professional life I studied languages and now I work part-time.

3. In what kinds of jobs did you work?
I have always been a teacher.

4. Do you link your professional and political career?
Yes, that is no problem, I just have to organize my life exactly.

5. In which areas do you see your special competencies?
I have the courage to say frankly what I think and I am open to women's matters.

6. What are your political priorities?
Community affairs, women's rights, environmental questions, culture issues and humanitarian aspects.

7. Which are your main fields of action?
Those mentioned above.

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Political Aims/ Priorities/ Assessments

1. Which objectives would you like to achieve through your political work?
I'd like to discuss and improve life in the community. In these questions women are especially capable. But I feel there is a lack of impulses and structures that could motivate women to do political work.

2. Do equal opportunities strategies in your opinion have an impact in your country in the promotion of women in decision-making- please specify?
Maybe, but Liechtenstein is a very conservative country and we don't have any such strategy in politics in general. Maybe a "Liechtenstein way" for equal opportunities will develop, but we have been waiting for that for a real long time now and it never came.

3. Did you benefit from these strategies?
As the party "Freie Liste" is very open-minded towards women, their guidelines worked out to my advantage and will also do for other women.

4. Do you see direct or indirect discrimination in "conventional" policy making? What is it that keeps women from committing themselves to politics?
In elections women still get voted out. Many people in Liechtenstein don't yet appreciate women in politics.

5. What are the major obstacles that women need to overcome?
1. It's still difficult to be a woman, a mother and a professional at the same time, and therefore you've got to be extremely well organized.
2. I feel there is a general lack of consciousness and self-confidence with women.
3. I've also got the impression that there is a lack of nerve among women. And there is certainly the fear of being voted out that keeps many women from participating in politics.

6. What obstacles have you had to overcome in your own career?
I did not have to fight. But at the very beginning I did not realize that it could be so difficult to combine my different roles.

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