Antiquated law forces pregnant Groningen council member to temporarily resign
A pregnant city council member in Groningen has submitted a temporary resignation in compliance with a law that she said "reminds me of the 1950s." The law requires council members who become pregnant to request a temporary resignation from the mayor, according to the Groninger Internet Courant.
Ceciel Nieuwenhout of GroenLinks only joined the Groningen city council recently, but had to comply with an article in the Elections Act against her will. Although she asked Groningen Mayor Koen Schuiling to grant her resignation, she he hopes to return in 16 weeks, on Aug. 21.
“It touches me personally that I have to ask you to resign because of the pregnancy, even if it is temporary," she wrote in her letter to Schuiling. "This reminds me of the 1950s when 'dismissal of employees during marriage and pregnancy' was still the norm."
Nieuwenhout especially took issue with the term "resignation" in the law, which she believes is outdated. She said the term should be updated to "leave of absence" instead, something she intends to modernize when she returns to the city council.