14th December 2018, KPMG, Amstelveen - Feminext Symposium commemorating 120 Years of The Netherlands Women Council (NVR)
By highlighting the Gender Electoral Observation Mission (GEOM) facilitated by Gender Concerns International to observe the 2017 Netherland elections director Bano emphasized the importance of the GEOM and the need for a broader support base to promote women’s democratic electoral participation in The Netherlands. She referred to GEOM recommendations in enhancing female leadership and gender equality at key decision-making levels. She pointed out to the gender parity and equality status at the level of Election Commission (Kiesraad) 100 years ago and now. 100 years ago, the Commission had only male members, while in 2017 it had 2 female members in contrast to 5 male members. Ms. Bano shared the data collected during 2017 election observation mission about the number of men and women within the election administration and the positions they held. This data was crucial to demonstrate electoral gender disparities. The mission concluded that the gender disparity prevails in The Netherlands and is reflected through its electoral system and election management bodies. The Mission recommend a collective effort needed for the attainment of the electoral gender parity.
Sabra Bano concluded that Electoral Gender Parity is the New Feminist Elan. She added that the warm spirit of sisterhood and solidarity expressed and echoed by many speakers and participants at the NVR Symposium will hopefully be the catalyst in marching the last remaining albeit tough miles towards the attainment of gender parity in The Netherlands
Earlier, Ms. Nenita La Rose, Chairperson of NVR, opened the event highlighting the history of women’s struggle for equality in The Netherlands, the need for women now and in the future to keep fighting for their rights. She referred to the beauty of the diversity of NVR’s membership, showing their broad outreach. Ms. La Rose emphasized that it is important to remember that the emancipation movement must include men in the fight. She further stressed Sisterhood Solidarity. The day-long event was enriched by contributions from various experts and speakers who share their experience and expertise as being engaged within the emancipation movement in The Netherlands and their affiliation and admiration for NVR.