Irène Kälin condemns “sexism” in the media

The President of the National Council, Irène Kälin, was heavily criticized for her trip to Ukraine. On French-speaking Switzerland television, she now accuses the media of sexism.

The highest Swiss Irène Kälin (Greens / AG) in the “RTS”. – Screenshot RTS


the essentials in brief

  • A delegation from the National Council traveled to Ukraine at the end of April following an invitation.
  • On French-speaking Switzerland television, Iréne Kälin accuses the Swiss media of sexism.
  • If she were an older gentleman, she is convinced that there would not have been so much criticism.

Ukraine has invited many politicians to get an idea of ​​the war on site. Several have accepted the invitation and presented themselves here. So did five members of the National Council, one of whom was the President of the Grand Chamber, Irène Kälin.

President of the National Council Irène Kälin talks about her visit to Ukraine. –

Because Kälin took media workers with her and regularly had herself photographed, filmed and interviewed, she was loudly criticized. Not only from other politicians, but also from the media, which published disapproving opinion pieces about Kälin’s trip. The Green National Councilor repeatedly rejected these criticisms, including towards

Sexism and machismo in the Swiss media

A month later, Irène Kälin spoke again about the trip – or rather about the reactions that the trip triggered. “There was this invitation and today I would have given no other answer than to go,” she says on French-speaking Switzerland television “RTS”. She took the media with her because a democracy lives on transparency “and the transparency is provided by the media”.

Kalin Ukraine
Surrounded by members of the Ukrainian army: President of the National Council Irene Kaelin leaves the airfield in Hostomel, near Kyiv, April 27, 2022.
Ukraine Hostomel Kalin
The Green politician speaks alongside Speaker of Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk at the airfield in Hostomel, near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
Ukraine war
Ruslan Stefanchuk, President of the Ukrainian Parliament, President of the National Council Irene Kälin, Florin Citu, President of the Romanian Parliament, and Talat Xhaferi, President of the North Macedonian Parliament, from right, shake hands during a press conference.
Ukraine war
Kälin today Wednesday in Kyiv.
Kälin speaks to Swiss media in Kyiv.
Surrounded by Ukrainian military personnel, she walks through Hostomel this Wednesday afternoon.

Kälin was then asked why there was a different reaction to the visit to Ukraine in Switzerland than in other countries. “We don’t like people who are always present in the media in Switzerland,” replied the woman from Aargau. “But maybe it also made a difference that I’m a woman, a young woman.”

Portugal Ukraine visit
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa in Irpin, Ukraine, May 21, 2022.
Baerbock Ukraine
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock after a visit to Bucha, Ukraine, May 10, 2022.
Pelosi Ukraine
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, meets with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, May 1, 2022.
Spain Denmark Ukraine
Spanish Prime Minister (middle) and Danish Prime Minister (left) talk with Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister in Borodyanka, April 21, 2022.

She wonders if an older gentleman who would have made this trip would have experienced the same polemic: “In any case, I don’t think there would have been this sexism in the media that I felt.” In addition, she has no understanding for the “Tagesanzeiger”: On the one hand, the newspaper covered her visit to Ukraine live, but on the other hand, he accused her of being too present in the media.

Can you understand the criticism of Irène Kälin?

The trip was “absolutely” necessary, Kälin continued. The Ukrainians asked for solidarity, also to encourage the population: “I think that’s the least you can do.”

More on the subject:

war sexism



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