Dutch Council of Women
The Dutch Council of Women - ‘Nederlandse Vrouwen Raad (NVR)’ - is an umbrella organisation by and for women’s organisations which was founded in 1898. NVR has more than 50 member organizations and together they reach an estimated number of one million women. A wide variety of organisations belong to NVR: ranging from service-clubs, organizations based on professions, religiously inspired organizations, women committees within political parties and traditional organisations to thematic organisations (e.g. on peace / sustainability). Purpose is to enhance the position of women in the Netherlands by amongst others lobbying (national, international and European) government organizations, informing and communicating with our members, and organizing projects and events.
European & international context
At European level NVR is member of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and the European Centre of the International Council of Women (ECICW). The NVR has a representative at the observatory on violence against women of the EWL. On international level NVR is a member of the International Council of Women (ICW). Furthermore, NVR has an NGO-status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).
Like some other countries, the Netherlands has several women’s representatives. NVR selects women’s representatives after open calls and supports them while in position. After selection a candidate will be nominated by the relevant Ministry and will become part of the government delegation. NVR wants to send a women’s representative to each UN-committee and to important World Summits, where they speak on behalf of Dutch women. At least each year the NVR selects the women representative that goes to the General Assembly of the United Nations (AVVN) and is allowed to hold a speech. The NVR encourages other countries to also have a women representative in their government delegation to UN meetings.
Examples of activities and projects by the NVR
NVR develops and implements projects and events on themes concerning women’s empowerment, leadership, women’s rights and violence against women. Some examples:
Elections – The NVR has an online campaign www.kieseenvrouw.nl = “vote for a woman”, as currently there is not yet equal representation in the parliament of men and women. We encourage people to vote for women and in the current election campaign we also encourage women to make themselves electable for the community council.
De Nieuwe Toekomst – Empowerment of (ex-)victims of domestic violence: building a new future through a course and coaching trajectory, leading the women to active participation in society (education, paid work or volunteer work). www.denieuwetoekomst.nl
Vrouwenpodium – Every year in September the NVR organizes a meeting between politicians and women about different subjects. We ask attention in a special way for women and women’s organizations. There are debates between politicians and women and women themselves. A book is made after every meeting which is given to the emancipation spokesman in politics.
‘UN resolution 1325’: The NVR is signatory to the 2 National Action Plans that were developed in The Netherlands on UNSCR 1325. A platform called Women for Sustainable Peace initiated from the NVR. The NVR regularly organizes meetings on the topic. Recently this was a seminar on ‘Women as powerful agents of change for peace and reconciliation.’
Commission on the Status of Women (CSW): Each year the NVR makes it possible that the women representatives participate in the CSW. The theme of the CSW changes every year from water, economic empowerment to LGBT+.