Record number female mayors in Netherlands: report
A record number of 101 Dutch municipalities currently have a female mayor. That means that 29 percent of mayors in the Netherlands are women, BNR reports based on figures requested from the Dutch Society of Mayors.
In 2017, the Netherlands counted 81 female mayors. The increase since then, combined with the reduced number of municipalities as a result of municipal redivision, brought the share of female mayors up to 29 percent. The Netherlands currently has 355 municipalities.
The slow growth in the number of female mayors is partly because women face a threshold when trying to get into office, according to Monique Leyenaar, professor of political science at Radboud University. "You can now only become a mayor if you have previously worked as a mayor, alderman or member of parliament. All these functions are dominated by men. That makes it difficult to appoint more female mayors at a rapid pace", she said to BNR.
Leyenaar believes the selection procedure for mayor should be redesigned, so that people without politics-specific experience can also be eligible for the office. "Someone who has led a large organization also has managerial experience. You don't have to be a member of a political party for 30 years."
According to Mayor Annemieke Vermeulen of Zutphen, women themselves can also do more to increase the number of women in politics. "Many women are ar too modest. As a woman, you immediately fall behind", she said to the broadcaster. She also points out that many women do not want a full-time job, like the job of mayor is. "You actually have to be a bit of a woman with male characteristics."