Lilian Uchtenhagen

Photo of Lilian Uchtenhagen
Lilian Uchtenhagen

Lilian Uchtenhagen (7 September 1928 – 6 September 2016) was a Swiss politician and economist.

Uchtenhagen was born in 1928 at Olten in the Canton of Solothurn, the daughter of a businessman.[1][2] She studied political science at the University of Basel and at the London School of Economics and graduated in 1954 from the University of Basel.[2]

Uchtenhagen was one of the first ten women to be elected to the Swiss National Council, the Federal Assembly of Switzerland's Lower House, after women gained the right to vote in federal elections in 1971.[2][3] She served in the National Council from 29 November 1971 to 24 November 1991.[2][1] As the first female candidate in history,[4] she received the nomination from the Social Democratic Party to fill one of the seats of in the Swiss Federal Council in 1983. She lost her bid to Otto Stich;[4] the TIME magazine article "Ladies Last" states that she lost her bid because of male reluctance to allow for a woman to serve on the council.[1][5]

A resident of the Canton of Zürich and the wife of Ambros Uchtenhagen, a Swiss psychiatrist,[6] she served as the president of Zürich's Coop retail chain from 1981 to 1997, and was president of the charitable organization Swissaid from 1998 to 2003.[2]


Uchtenhagen died on 6 September 2016, the eve of her 88th birthday.[7][3]


  1. 1 2 3 "Uchtenhagen Lilian." Federal Assembly of Switzerland. Accessed 23 October 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Baertschi, Christian (2013), "Uchtenhagen, Lilian", Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz, retrieved 9 September 2016
  3. 1 2 "Lilian Uchtenhagen – Ein Vorbild ist gestorben" (in German). 10vor10. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  4. 1 2 Strehle, Res (8 September 2016). "Links und gesellschaftlich liberal – ohne Widerspruch". Tages-Anzeiger (in German). Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  5. "Ladies Last", TIME, 6 February 1984.
  6. Angst, Jules. "Laudatio Ambros Uchtenhagen", European Addiction Research, vol 5, #2 (1999).
  7. Première femme candidate au Conseil fédéral Lilian Uchtenhagen est morte (French)
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