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Bedroom 1 - Tilo Frey

While visiting Neuchâtel, the photo of a politician affectionately nicknamed noiraude in the canton of Vaud captured my attention. Her name was Tilo Frey and I wanted to find out

his history.

Fifth woman to have a street or square named in her memory in the city of Neuchâtel,

Tilo Frey is the first of African origin. What makes his story unique to me is the fact

that she was born in Maroua, Cameroon, on May 2, 1923. Her early childhood years were

took place in Cameroon, but she continued the rest of her schooling in La Neuveville, in the canton

from Bern. After her studies, she taught for a few years at the École supérieure de Commerce, before

to become director of the Vocational School for Girls in the 1960s.

salary, the promotion of better representation of women in politics, as well as

salary, the promotion of better representation of women in politics, as well as

fair family policy. She served on the General Council of the City of Neuchâtel from 1964 to 1974.

and became its president in 1970.

Continuing her political career, she sat on the Neuchâtel Grand Council from 1969 to 1973. After

the votes of 1971, which opened the way for the participation of women in political life, it is

became the first Neuchâtel resident and the first Afro-descendant person to sit in Parliament

federal government from 1971 to 1975. She left us in 2008, but her legacy lives on. In his honor, the

City of Neuchâtel named a street after her, making her the fifth woman to receive this

honor. In June 2019, the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of the University of Neuchâtel

inaugurated the Tilo Frey Space, which replaced the former Louis Agassiz space.

Tilo Frey, an Afro-descendant woman, is a source of inspiration in many ways. She knew how to do her

place in the political world despite the prejudices linked to her skin color and her gender, and she

led a fierce fight for women's equality. She managed to take positions as

leadership, from the General Council to the Federal Assembly, thus becoming a pioneer for women

which followed. Its determination to promote equal pay and gender equality has never

weakened. Comparing her to Rosa Parks, we can say that Tilo Frey led a similar fight for

women and people of color in Switzerland, although the contexts differ.

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