Latest updates

18 Years in Change-making Action , the First Staff Meeting of the 2022

January 13, 2022

Commemorating 18th anniversary of the organisation, its first staff meeting of 2022 was organized on 12 January online. The team members discussed the strategic direction of national and international operation. Regardless the challenges that are posed by the COVID-19 safety measures, team members discussed the plans that aim to support local partners and other stakeholders in focus countries. Humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, democratic roadblocks in Libya and Tunisia, women`s rise in governance in Morocco and the Netherlands, peace and security in Myanmar and environmental engagement in Pakistan were discussed in detail.

Together with the director of the organization, Ms. Bano, each team member greatly contributed to the discussion reassuring own commitment to the vision and mission of the organisations, that were set 18 years ago continuously serving as a guideline to evolve action on the ground.

Team is motivated to remain focused and ambitious to support local communities and women organisations confronted with the challenges that the year 2022 brings along with Covid19 still casting a dark shadow on the attainment of fundamental human rights of people globally.

Dutch reach Gender Parity in Governance: a step towards parity in Decision-making

January 10, 2022

Today the NPO1 channel live streamed the presentation of the new cabinet, cabinet Rutte IV. It is the first time in Dutch politics that the proportion of men and women in the Council of Ministers is 1:1; there are ten men and ten women.

It is noticeable progress regarding equal gender representation in Dutch politics. Mainly because in 1956, there was only one woman in the Council. However, even now, the legitimacy of women in council is still being questioned. The reporter pointed out that it remains unclear whether the proportion was reached intentionally or as a coincidence. In other words, he raised the question of whether gender played a decisive role when the women ministers were selected, or if it happened due to their professional experience. Interesting enough, not all of the new ministers have a political background. Some of the ministers were specifically chosen due to their achievements in science.

Nevertheless, the proportion of men and women as secretaries of ministers is 5:4, where the majority are men. The new cabinet represents four political parties: VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie.

Publication Final Report Gender Election Observation Mission (GEOM) NL 2021

September 1, 2021

We are pleased to announce that the final report for the Gender Election Observation Mission (GEOM) the Netherlands 2021 has been submitted to the Dutch Ministry of Interior and the Electoral Council (Kiesraad). You can find the full report here.

Elections Netherlands: Final Results to be Announced on 26 March 2021

March 24, 2021

On Friday 26 March 2021, the Election Commission of the Netherlands, the Kiesraad, will announce the final results of the Dutch Parliamentary Elections that took place from 15-17 March. Due to the corona measures, the meeting wherein this will take place, can be followed through a live stream. This is also a time in which complaints may be issued.

In the role of international observer, some members of the Gender Election Observation Mission NL 2021 will be present to observe the proceedings.

The GEOM NL 2021 preliminary statement following the three elections days has already been published, in a record time of less than 48 hours. The final report can be expected around May.

The Launch of the Fourth NAP 1325 of the Netherlands

January 8, 2021

The fourth Dutch National Action Plan for UNSC Resolution 1325 was officially launched on December 16th, 2020. As a fourth-time signatory, Gender Concerns International provided feedback and insights throughout the drafting process, to ensure that the voices of women and women's organisations' were considered and represented. It has been a great honor to have contributed to such a collective effort.

In 2009, Gender Concerns International, together with local partners, hosted a Regional Stakeholders Meeting in Kabul to discuss the relevance of UNSCR 1325 in promoting peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and increasing the involvement and participation of women in Afghan socio-political contexts. Additionally, ten years after organizing the 'International Side Conference on Afghanistan' at the Peace Palace in the Hague in 2010, with more than 200 participants from all parts of society, which has led to many actions initiated in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and more, to promote inclusive and parity-based elections, we remain committed to supporting women in peace-building and security processes everywhere. Through our election observation missions in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Pakistan, and more, we apply a gendered lens to ensure equal female participation in all processes, continuing to pursue our goals of achieving equal involvement and electoral parity.

NAP 1V on 1325 is a pledge reaffirming our support to and cooperation with our national and international partners and supporters in advocating for women's' and girls' full participation in peacebuilding and security processes across the globe, and look forward to our continued collaborations.

Dutch Elections 2021: Female Leadership in the Horizon

July 30, 2020

Observing the Dutch elections in 2017 from a gender perspective through the implementation of the GEOM Netherlands, Gender Concerns International is observing the pre-election period in the Netherlands with great interest.

The candidacy of the Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, Sigrid Kaag, for the leadership of the political party D66, highlights the importance of female leadership at the highest position of government. Rob Jetten, the current leader of D66, is not running again for the party’s leadership, leaving Minister Kaag’s candidacy unchallenged, facilitating her takeover of the party’s leadership without a vote.

In the Netherlands, the position of prime minister is reserved for the leader of the party that has the most seats in the House of Representatives. Therefore, Minister Kaag’s candidacy also implies that if D66 gains the most seats in the elections in March 2021, she will become prime minister.

Showing her resilience, passion, and ability to lead, Minister Kaag is putting forward an active and extremely engaged electoral campaign. Since announcing her candidacy, she has been traveling around the Netherlands and Europe, taking part in meetings, advocating for issues such as gender, Covid-19 response and recovery, climate change, racial inequality, intra-governmental cooperation opportunities, the EU, and more.

In Minister Kaag’s words, if she becomes prime minister, her goal is:

“to guide everyone well through the crisis, in a clean and fair economy with new opportunities and new jobs. To break through the divisions in society and end the exclusion experienced by too many people. To strengthen the role of the Netherlands in Europe and to look at the world with an open mind again”.

As an organization that fervently advocates for and promotes female leadership on a global scale, Gender Concerns International greatly appreciates this emerging trend in the Netherlands in which women are running for top leadership positions.

UNSCR 1325: Renewal of Pledges: Dutch NAP Signatories Meet on 27th November

November 22, 2019

As a Signatory to the Dutch National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325, Gender Concerns International welcomes the opportunity to commit the extension of its pledge till the end of 2020 at the NAP´s signatory event on the 27th of November.


2020 will mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UNSCR 1325. The world community on the ground that has been engaged in the implementation of the resolution remains committed to support women in conflict zones.

The three P approach that identifies as Protection, Prevention and Participation has been the thematic focus of most of the work done by international and local stakeholders.

Gender Concerns International was established in 2004, 4 years after the adoption of the resolution. When it started its ground-breaking work on women, peace and security in Afghanistan and Kashmir and had invited women`s delegations from these countries to the first launch of the Dutch NAP on UNSCR1325 in 2008.

UNSCR 1325 has helped the organisation to advocate and support the P of Participation. Gender Concerns has supported Political participation of women in negotiations, attendance in international meetings and women`s electoral participation to enhance female leadership and inclusive decision-making. This work has led to the innovative tool of GEOM; Gender Election Observation Mission.

A 20-year journey on Women, Peace and Security work has been evaluated by various actors and new areas to further improve the work on UNSCR1325 have been identified as future targets.

Gender Concern has noted the declining interest for the Participation P in the Dutch NAP III and recommends to the Task Force 1325 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the NAP Community to balance this deficit in our joint NAP IV.

The Dutch NAP UNSCR1325 Community, marks the 20th Anniversary by preparing the kickstart of the development of the Fourth Dutch National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 in 2020.

Gender Concerns International Participated in Consultation on Dutch NAP 4 Funding Framework

May 17, 2019

Gender Concerns International was delighted to have been part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands roundtable consultation process in conjunction with WO=MEN and had a productive interaction on the main principles and funding mechanisms of the Dutch National Action Plan (NAP) as part of the Netherland’s commitment to UNSCR 1325. As a NAP signatory who has works tirelessly on the mutual goals of UNSCR 1325 since the first NAP in 2008, Gender Concerns International is looking forward playing an active role supporting Dutch NAP 4 processes and goals.

Media Release: Commemorating 100 Years Of Women’s Right To Vot

May 9, 2019

Urgency Of The Collective Effort For Gender Electoral Parity In The Netherlands

Media Release

To mark the occasion of 100 years of women’s right to vote in the Netherlands, Director Bano as a member of the Steering Committee on the national commemoration known as Committee 100 Years of Women’s Rights to Vote,emphasizes the importance of the need for a broad support base to promote women’s democratic electoral participation in The Netherlands. She refers to Gender Election Observation Mission’s (GEOM 2017) recommendations in enhancing female leadership and gender equality at key decision-making levels, pointing out the gender parity and equality status at the level of Election Commission (Kiesraad) 100 years ago and now.

Notwithstanding the positive progress, efforts to enhance women’s political participation should persist.

Women’s electoral and political participation cannot be understated in modern democracies, where more inclusive, responsive, egalitarian and democratic processes are of paramount importance to achieving gender electoral parity. Ms. Bano refers to the gender disparity that still prevails and is reflected through its electoral system and election management bodies in the Netherlands. GEOM 2017 the Netherlands recommendations reemphasizes the urgent need of a collective effort for the attainment of electoral gender parity.

Today marks the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote in the Netherlands, an idea that started with activism and ultimately resulted in victory for the women’s suffrage movement giving them the opportunity to be involved in politics. Since 9 May 1919, Dutch women freely exercise their voting rights. Gender Concerns International is pleased to honor the significance of the anniversary and congratulate men and women in the Netherlands not only for this achievement but also in safeguarding women’s political rights nationally and globally for the past decades. Electoral Gender Parity is a new Feminist Elan and a non-negotiable target for agenda 2020 processes, stated Bano.

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