Women of Switzerland

Tilo Frey

Politician, 1923-2008

Tilo Frey, a politician, was one of the first twelve women elected to the National Council in 1971. She was also the first person of African descent to become a member of the National Council. Prior to her service at the federal level, she was active in regional politics as an elected member of the cantonal council of Neuchâtel. She campaigned for equal pay for women, the legalisation of abortion and development aid in third-world countries, demanding the inclusion of local partners in the conversation. Following her career in politics, she returned to her original career in education as director of a school for girls in Neuchâtel. A square at the centre of the Arts Faculty of the University of Neuchâtel was named in her memory, and is the only public place dedicated to a person of colour in Switzerland.

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Tilo Frey