Four months ago, over ten thousand people participated in the Amsterdam Women’s March to protest the continued injustices faced by womxn, as well as a celebration of progress. The march was organised on the International Women’s Day and dozens of other countries all around the world also held protests to campaign for female emancipation.
The march in Amsterdam has been an annual event for over three years, with this year’s theme being ‘Freedom’. The march included a flash mob, as well as a moment of silence, to commemorate the womxn who have lost their lives to gender violence. Other events were also organised across the Netherlands, such as a pampering day for homeless womxn in The Hague and a walk in the theme of ‘Freedom’ in Drenthe.
The Netherlands is a country that is quite progressive in terms of gender equality: according to the Gender Equality Index, the nation is the sixth best European Union (EU) country for gender equality, with it ranking 4.7 points higher than the EU’s average score. And between 2005 and 2017, the Netherlands’ score increased by 4.3 points.
However, the Netherlands is progressing towards gender equality at a much slower pace than other EU Member States; this may have to do with the fact that for a lot of political parties in the Netherlands, gender inequality is not an urgent political issue. As a result, there is a massive underrepresentation of women in the Dutch government; womxn in the Netherlands occupied only 31% percent of seats in the Tweede Kamer and just 35% percent of ministerial posts. The Netherlands has also never had a female prime minister.
Hopefully, marches like these will change things for the better, and hopefully we can all witness a day without misogyny or discrimination. It is high time the international community understands the importance of women rights and how gender equality matters the reason countries like Netherlands should have laws specific to women and should be treated the same according to all the international support given to women such as by CEDAW or funding which could help them improve and all policies against women need to end as women rights are human rights. Lastly, society must understand the fact that women shouldn’t have to march for something which is rightfully theirs instead, they should be respected just like any other gender.