Political parties, register the gender identity of your candidates

Stem op een Vrouw (Vote for a Woman) and Open State Foundation call on political parties to register the gender identity of their candidates when submitting their list with candidates for the elections of 2019. Iris Bos, co-founder of Stem op een Vrouw: ‘We see that more parties, with good intentions, choose not to register the gender of their candidates. This makes it increasingly difficult to get insight in the total amount of female candidates and elected representatives. This information is vital to track emancipation of women in politics.’

In 2019 Dutch elections for the Provincial Estates, Water Boards, Senate and European Parliament will take place. In February, the participating political parties will start submitting their list of candidates to the election council. On these lists the name, place of residence and an optional gender of the candidate is placed. Open State Foundation gathered all candidate lists for the municipal elections of 2018 . These give insight in the gender balance of the candidates, geographical distribution of the candidates and shows if candidate participate in several elections or multiple political parties.

Tom Kunzler, interim-director of Open State Foundation: ‘Of almost 30.000 candidates for the municipal election the gender was not specified. GroenLinks, CDA and D66 had the most candidates without a gender. Open State Foundation and Stem op een Vrouw call on political parties to add the gender of their candidates to the lists.

Stem op een Vrouw and Open State Foundation plead for a gender notation of m/f/x. This is also an option for Dutch passports since October 2018. Bos: ‘The Election council can add a gender-option X for people that do not identity as male or female. With this option political parties can still practice their good intentions, and we still hold insight in the gender balance. In this way we can still work on getting more women politically active and elected’.

Number of candidates from national political parties of which the gender was unknown during the municipal elections of 2018.

Name of party Total amount of candidates Gender unknown % gender unknown
GROENLINKS 3.284 590 17,97%
D66 4.212 418 9,92%
SGP 1.333 116 8,70%
PvdA 4.408 382 8,67%
SP 2.336 200 8,56%
50PLUS 230 18 7,83%
PVV 243 17 7,00%
Partij voor de Dieren 152 10 6,58%
VVD 5.542 326 5,88%
ChristenUnie 2.723 160 5,88%
CDA 8.153 421 5,16%
ChristenUnie-SGP 879 39 4,44%