Print this Page
Print this Page

Netherlands/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

As of 2007, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science coordinates equality policies for both women and the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. The Department for Emancipation [Directie Emancipatie] is responsible for this policy.

Some of the continuing main objectives are employment among women, combating LGBT / women-related violence, and equal rights for the LGBT community.

Employment among women in the cultural sector

In the present policy memorandum, there is no specific policy regarding the employment of women in the cultural sector. The most recent connection between employment among women and the cultural sector was made in 2010, when the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture presented a study on women in the cultural sector. Compared to other sectors, the share of women in top functions in the cultural sector is high, at 34.9%, as opposed to only 9% in the business sector. 

Gender equality and media

In July 2013, the Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission organised a conference in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The aim of the conference, Media and the Image of Women, was to raise awareness on gender equality issues in the media. The visibility of women in mass media is often based on stereotypical images of what is feminine and masculine. Through this conference, the Gender Equality Commission aimed to encourage a gender-sensitive approach in the media. The conference discussed the challenge of how to counteract negative stereotypes, while instead promoting women as leaders, and other developments. Following the conference, the Dutch Minister of Culture Jet Bussemaker explicitly mentioned the issue of women and media in the policy memorandum about emancipation for the period 2013-2016 (click here for more information).

LGBT community

The government aims to foster the emancipation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community by developing a specific emancipation policy (click here for more information). The aim of the policy is to promote the social acceptance of the LGBT community and combat violence and discrimination. To this end, the Dutch government provides direct and indirect support for various social / cultural activities during the year, such as the International Day Against Homophobia, National Coming Out Day and Pink Saturday. The emancipation of this group is regarded as a precondition for cultural diversity. In addition to the above, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science supports the following activities:

  • Jos Brink Gay Liberation Award. In 2009, the government established the Jos Brink Gay Liberation Award. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science grants the award once every two years to a person, group or organisation for making an outstanding contribution to the emancipation of the gay community.
  • International Gay and Lesbian Information Centre and Archive. The International Gay and Lesbian Information Centre and Archive (IHLIA) is a library, archive and information and documentation centre on homosexuality and sexual diversity with offices in Amsterdam and Leeuwarden. The aim of the organisation is to identify and provide access to LGBT material from both national and international sources so that it can be used as, for example, background information for education, policy and public information. In 2013, IHLIA received approximately 300 000 EUR from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to support its work.

Chapter published: 13-03-2017

Your Comments on this Chapter?