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Swiss parliament rejects return to double-barreled surnames

Local News // Sept. 28, 2016
Swiss parliament rejects return to double-barreled surnames

A request from a Vaud woman for a study into the disappearance of the ‘double barrelled' surname has been rejected by the Swiss House of Representatives (lower house of parliament).

According to Rebecca Ruiz, many women regret the 2013 law that banned the double surname, but her proposal for research into this was rejected by 106 votes to 70.

Feminist circles considered allowing women who marry to keep their family name since January 2013 a breakthrough. But it prohibits the use of a dual name, written without hyphen.

If a woman keeps her name, the children will have either the name of the mother or the father so the family no longer has a common surname.

Rebecca Ruiz says 60% of women choose the fathers name in the cantons of Vaud and Neuchâtel and in Fribourg, this figure may reach 90% and 98% in Martigny.

The government say the Federal Statistical Office have already looked into this and between 2001 and 2014, they found no increase or decline, with about 71% of women taking their husband's name.

However, they say if enough people call for it, then they will change the law and reintroduce the double name.

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