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Our history 

women - solidarity - courage
women - solidarity - courage
Zeitungsartikel zur katholischen Schweiz


„Women of Zug have founded the „zugerischen katholischen Frauenbund“ (catholic women‘s association) in the hotel Hirschen at two p.m.“ (Zuger News, Edition of February 4th)

According to the oldest document in the priestly archives, the first recorded board meeting was held on March 4, 1913. In the first committee were:

› Ms. Dir. Hegglin-Hegglin (President)
› Ms Dr. Hegglin (Vice-President)
› Ms. Jos. Keiser (Treasurer)
› Ms Dr. Pestalozzi-Pfyffer (Actuary)
› Ms. Anna Koch (Actuary)
› Alois Speck (bishop commissioner/spiritual advisor)

Other women‘s associations of Zug joined, such as the Mütterverein, the Marianische Jungfrauenkongregation, the Frauenhilfsverein and the Paramentenverein (Mothers‘ Association, the Marian Virgins‘ Congregation, the Women‘s Aid Society and the Paraments Association). The communities of Menzingen, Unterägeri and Walchwil also joined with a total of 1800 members.


„The Katholische Frauenbund des Kantons Zug (catholic women‘s association of the canton Zug) is part of the schweizerischen Katholischen Frauenbundes (swiss catholic women‘s association) and is working on realizing its goals in the area of Zug with all its power“. ( – paragraph 1 of the first statutes)

And to this day, this guiding principle has remained. We, as a cantonal association are affiliated with our roof organization SKF (swiss catholic women‘s association). The 13 women‘s communities in the canton of Zug are considered independent associations and are affiliated with us.

Courage and persistence

Altes Foto von

Mathilde Hegglin-Hegglin

the first president of the Zuger Katholischen Frauenbundes (Zug Catholic Women‘s Federation). She came from a distinguished middle-class family, had five brothers and was the only daughter in the family. Her father and maternal grandfather were government councilors. After attending the Maria Opferung boarding school in Zug, Dijon and Lugano, Mathilde Hegglin-Hegglin married the teacher Clemens Hegglin in 1890. She was an exemplary mother to her six children. Her obituary describes her rich talents, her interest in spiritual matters, and her dedication to the welfare of others. In addition to her presidency, she also worked at the Mütterverein (Mothers‘ Association), was involved in the city commission as well as Pro Juventute.

Altes Foto von

Adèle Pestalozzi-Pfyffer

trained to become a teacher after attending school in France. In 1883 she married Emil Pestalozzi, president of the domestic mission and the Schweizerischen Katholischen Volksvereins (Swiss Catholic People‘s Association). First, they lived in Zurich, Gersau and Brunnen until they moved to Zug in 1910.
She was active as vice-president of the Schweizerischen Katholischen Frauenbund (Swiss Catholic Women‘s Association), and in 1918 was one of the founders of the „Sozial-Caritativen Frauenschule“ („Social-Caritative Women‘s School“) in Lucerne, (today: Hochschule Luzern – soziale Arbeit/Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Social Work). As a special honor she was awarded the Papal Cross of Merit „Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice“.

Altes Foto von Josephine Keiser

Adèle Pestalozzi-Pfyffer

received a good education at the Girls‘ Institutes in Menzingen and Sondrio in the Valtellina. As a member of the Schweizerischen Frauenbund (Swiss Women‘s Association) and a native of Zug, her efforts were directed toward improving education and health care, which she shaped for many years.
In 1905, alongside other women, she founded the cooperative „Marienheim“ and opened a home for migrant workers, apprentice daughters and unemployed maids. In 1909 this became the „Töchterfortbildungs- und Haushaltschule Santa Maria“ (Santa Maria“ Daughters‘ Training and Household School). In 1910 Josephine Keiser was involved in the founding of the „Vereins für Kranken- und Wochenpflege“ („Association for Nursing and Weekly Care“) in Zug.


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Pioneers of their time

In the first half of the 19th century a social separation arose. In the upper middle class, the citizens had the privilege of education. But only men were allowed to work, women had to do the housework. Many women deviated from this social image by remaining unmarried or working to avoid a bad housing situation and malnutrition when money was rare. Thus, the so called „Frauenfrage“ (women’s question) emerged. At the turn of the 20th century, women joined together to form a strong, political counterforce. The women of Zug were also actively involved, led by the three pioneers Mathilde Hegglin-Hegglin, Adèle Pestalozzi-Pfyffer and Josephine Keiser. Since two of them were also members of Schweizerischen Frauenbundes (the Swiss Women‘s Federation), they did their utmost to implement its goals in Zug as well. „First: The preservation and promotion of religious life in the family, community, and state in close adherence to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Secondly, to take a stand on contemporary issues of particular concern to women and to actively promote women‘s social and charitable activities“.
(Purpose of the association, first statutes)


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Our field of activity

Just like today, our work was built on the two pillars “social- charitable women’s work” and “education”.

The Frauenhilfswerk, founded during the First World War, took care of war children and sent food abroad. Until the end of 1940, the Frauenbund and Pro Juventute provided support. Here, children from poor families were given the opportunity to spend their vacations with a host family. In 1920, the direct Mütterhilfe (today: Nothilfe) was established. Donations and the Mother‘s Day church offering made it possible for overworked women to spend their vacations in the Müttererholungsheim Gersau, set up by the Schweizerischer Frauenbund (Swiss Women‘s Federation). In 1930, the SKF started the pre-Christmas collection of gifts in kind for the mountain population of Zug, as well as for communities outside the canton. Clothes, toys and food were given to families with many children in mountain regions. Financial support was used to pay for medications, hospital and medical expenses.

Today this kind of social engagement can still be found in our “Weihnachtsbriefkasten” (Christmas Mailbox) and the “Nothilfe” (Emergency Help).

Since the beginning, we have been involved with other women‘s associations to improve the education and training of women. Important topics in the continuing education courses are learning to patch, sew, cook, nurse and care for infants. Career counseling with job placement services also emerged, and home economics classes were introduced. After the Second World War, there was a new development of the Society in Switzerland. In our annual reports 1946/47 the word „Catholic“ was replaced by „Cantonal“. Henceforth we called ourselves Zuger Kantonaler Frauenbund ZKF (Zug Cantonal Women‘s Federation). In the annual reports one can sense the desire to reorient the association.


Our partnership with SKF

In its founding years, the Schweizerische Katholische Frauenbund (SKF) and its Zuger section were closely intertwined. Two Zuger women lead the construction of the cantonal, as well as the Swiss roof organization of the catholic women‘s associations. The organisation was built hierarchical.

„Collaboration in the execution of the tasks of the SKF in the canton of Zug, according to the directives of the SKF.“ (First task of the ZKF, statutes).

In the last decades the partnership aspect of the relationship has become more significant. Our association as a switchboard between the SKF and the women at the base. Dialogues between headquarters and the base take place in courses and educational trainings.

With about 200,000 members today, the SKF is one of the federal government‘s consultation partners. Through their membership in the SKF, our women are part of the „Weltunion der katholischen Frauenorganisationen“(„World Union of Catholic Women‘s Organizations“), which, together with other women‘s organizations, works globally for peace, justice and the integrity of creation.


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