Women in power on the rise, taking 34 percent of Dutch city council seats

An Amsterdam ballot for the municipal elections, 21 March 2018
An Amsterdam ballot for the municipal elections, 21 March 2018Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

After the municipal elections, the proportion of woman in the city councils of the Netherlands' 70 largest municipalities increased from 28 percent to 34 percent, newspaper Trouw reports based on its own research. 

Some municipalities, like Amsterdam and Heerhugowaard, now have an equal number of male and female councilors. In Heerenveen and Waddinxveen the municipal councils now consist of more women than men. Utrecht, Hilversum and Nieuwegein are very close to having the same number of women as men on the council. 

Among the surveyed municipalities, at least 75 women got into the council through preference votes - something citizens initiative 'Stem op een vrouw', or Vote for a woman in English, campaigned for intensively in the run up to the elections. 

A study by NOS showed that only three in ten candidates for the municipal councils were women. Of the parties that participated in the municipal elections in the entire country, GroenLinks had the largest proportion of women on its candidate lists - 41 percent. Animal party PvdD is the only party that had more women than men on its lists, 55 percent women. But the party only participated in 18 municipalities.