Dutch Politics and Inclusive Public Policies

March 17, 2017
[cml_media_alt id='770']Dutch Parliament (source : wikepedia.org)[/cml_media_alt]

Dutch Parliament (source : wikepedia.org)


The Netherlands has just had its election on March 15th 2017 making the party VVD of the current center-right Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, the big winner. While some politicians are busy celebrating their victory, others feeling down for their defeat, for the many voters is now the time to see if the promises during the campaign are/will become reality.

In a research made by Women’s Initiatives Network (WIN), it was noticed that there is still much to do in terms of inclusive public policies. How shall Dutch Politics address inclusiveness in its policies?

Discrimination is still a reality in the job market, where Municipalities as The City of The Hague have been using anonymous applications to increase chances for people to get interviewed for a job. How effective is this? According to the article published on March 2nd 2017 in the newspaper nltimes.nl, “Prime Minister Mark Rutte is completely against anonymous hiring practices in the fight against discrimination on the labor market.”

Starting a company for a recipient of social benefit is still nearly to impossible. Many people are being asked to invest their time and money they don’t have before Government could intervene and provide assistance. This is an unsustainable government model; Government must become a true partner and provide assistance throughout the process.

Women, especially single mothers, are forced to stay home as the Child Care is not only expensive but are limited in the flexibility offered by the services.

The very much applauded Special Education Policy (SEP) is creating a gap between children from poor and rich parents. Children are faced with all kind of institutions, diagnosed with different handicaps, denied registration in schools, and some case children forced to be at home before finding the appropriate school. What shall Politicians offer to bring a solution to this?

This was also emphasized in “Steps towards inclusive education in the Netherlands: a long and winding road” written by Sip Jan Pijlby stipulating that for a long time the highly differentiated and extensive special education system was seen as expressing the concern for students with special learning needs in Dutch education. Nowadays this point of view is the subject of much debate. A growing group of policy makers, educators and parents think segregation in education has gone too far.

Children experiencing divorce/separation of their parents are faced by all kind of institutions Child Protection Service, Organizations claiming to defend the rights of children, court and all kind of institutions resulting in children lack of concentration, poor performance in school and in some cases, as identified by WIN’s research, abandon of school and criminality.

According to an article published on March 14th 2017 , The Guardian wrote that the majority of the Dutch population is primarily concerned with zorg (care), notably keeping healthcare affordable – this is the number one concern of the voters of four major parties, including the three right-wing parties most obsessed with the three Is: the PVV, VVD, and Christian Democratic CDA. The second biggest issue is social security, the third is fighting terrorism, and the fourth is more money for education. “Integration of refugees” ranks only ninth.

At Women’s Initiatives Network (WIN), we believe that we have to challenge policies and the way support is delivered to people. This not only in a period of election but on a daily basis.

Join us on March 19th 2017 where The City of the Hague has organized an event in celebration of the United Nations International Day against Discrimination and Racism. The place chosen is a symbolic place, by the Parliament (Tweede Kamer) – the Constitution Bench (a 25-metre long bench inscribed with Article 1 of the constitution, a Bill of Rights granting equality to all and forbidding discrimination) on the Hofplaats.

Women’s Initiatives Network looks forward to receive you as we mark our Seventh Year since our Organization was created. Come and support our initiative Cooperative Arbre a Palabre U.A , a group of African Women starting their businesses within the Pilot Program of The City of the Hague “Ondernemend uit de Bijstand” (Starting a business within the Social Benefit System) since October 2016.

We invite you to experience a Culinary Art and Design with an Africa Touch in a City known as the City of Peace and Justice celebrating Diversity.

For more on the event, please check The City of The Hague Official Notice

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