In 1959 a Swiss referendum denied women the right to vote

In 1959 Switzerland held a referendum on whether women should be allowed to vote in general elections.

Only men could take part in the referendum and two-thirds of them voted no.

Swiss women eventually won the right to vote in 1971.

Ruth Dreifuss campaigned for women's rights as a 19-year-old during the 1959 referendum, and was instrumental in getting women elected to parliament in 1971.

She later became the first female president of Switzerland.

Film produced by Jonathan Coates

Witness History: The stories of our times told by the people who were there.