Ban gender stereotypes in school books, women's org. says
Gender equality organization Women Inc. submitted a plan to parliamentarians from various parties calling for more to be done to promote equality between women and men in education, work position, pay, politics and science. One of their spear points is removing gender stereotypes from school books. "If you tackle this combination of topics, then a justified balance comes very close," coordinator Suzan Steeman said to Het Parool.
According to Women Inc., one of the main problems is the wage gap that still exists between women and men. According to the latest emancipation monitor from Statistics Netherlands, women in the Netherlands still earn 17 percent less than men. This partly has to do with women working in sectors where salaries are lower. "Consider, for example, the healthcare sector. The vast majority of care staff are women. This again has to do with training choices. We believe that stereotyping in textbooks plays a role in this."
Women Inc. wants the government to ban these stereotypes, for example showing women as nurses and men as lawyers, from education. In addition, "we call on the government to oblige employers to be transparent about pay differences and thus make the pay gap more transparent," Steeman said to the newspaper.
The organization also wants a women's quota for top positions. "Not only in business, but also in politics and science," Steeman said."Compulsory and stimulating measures are needed from the government. As soon as rules are established, more women can take on important roles."
Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven, responsible for Emancipation, has been advocating for a quota of 30 percent women in top positions for some time. The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, passed a proposal for such a quota last year.
Women Inc. also wants the government to do more to allow women and men to combine work and care tasks. "Although more than half of couples would like to share care tasks equally, only one in ten does so. The government must take responsibility for this, for example through longer paid partner leave and investment in childcare."
The organization asked research agency Ipsos to poll voters on gender equality. 94 percent of respondents said they found gender equality important, and 66 percent called it important that the political party they vote for promotes equality between men and women. Steeman is therefore confident that the political parties will include gender equality in their campaigns for the parliamentary elections. "Everyone sees that something must happen. We have been working on it for 15 years, so it is nice to see that the people also want the government to take action."