Men made a mess of it, Dutch King says during talk on equality
Men have “made a mess” of things over the last thousands of years, King Willem-Alexander said during a conversation with Slovak young people about gender equality and women’s emancipation on International Women’s Day. The talks happened at the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava during the royal couple’s three-day state visit to the country.
The modern community needs all unique talents “to flourish,” the King said. “Diversity is strength,” he said, “not weakness.” Men have made a mess of things, and women should not copy their example. “Use your own talents.”
Queen Maxima said that she saw few women around her during her Economics studies and work at various banks. The Dutch Queen was “one of the only” women. Diversity is crucial, Maxima said. “I don’t think that’s up for debate.” She asked the women present to be “assertive” because things “don’t just happen.” The King agreed “100 percent” with his wife.
One of the young women in the talks said she liked that the Slovak president, Zuzana Caputova, is a woman. “We see that something like this is possible for us. I’m happy about that.” Another also said that role models are important. “My role model is Princess Diana,” she said. “She was a very optimistic and caring woman.” That inspires her to be like that too. The Queen agreed that role models are indeed important.
President Caputova also took part in the conversation. She answered questions about her experiences with gender equality. “During the campaign period, I was confronted with the comment: ‘women belong in the kitchen, not in politics.’ This is a male world,” said Caputova. “I think diversity is healthy and necessary, also in politics.”
The King and Queen were received at the venue by the director of the Slovak National Gallery, Alexandra Kusa, and the Slovak Minister of Culture, Natalia Milanova. State Secretary Gunray Uslu of Culture and Media was also present, but did not participate in the discussion.
Reporting by ANP