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Prince’s Day lecture: Equal rights after 100 years of universal rights to vote?

On September 12th, the faculty of Governance and Global Affairs organized a lecture and debate together with the organization Prinsjesfestival. The event was about 100 years of universal rights to vote, specifically women’s rights to vote.

Margit van der Steen, a professor at the Historical Institute of Leiden University, started the lecture with a short introduction on her work. Her specialty is political history of the 20th century, gender, and biography. After this introduction, Devika Partiman started her speech. Devika spoke about parliamentary representation, women in politics and the foundation ‘Stem op een Vrouw’. The social activist is the founder and president of this foundation, that wants to help get more women political jobs. Davika mentioned several historical women of politics, who have not gotten enough attention. She also spoke passionately about inclusivity for all minorities of our society in politics.

Debate

The audience asked several questions to Devika about her work as founder of the Stem op een Vrouw foundation. After this, Margit and Devika discussed statements on women in politics together with Ulla Jansz. Ulla Jansz is an editor of the Wilhelmina Drucker webmonument and researches history of the Dutch women’s movement. An example of the discussed statements is: ‘The House of Representatives should be 50/50 man and women.’ and ‘The next Dutch prime minister should be a woman.’. The speakers agreed that the word ‘should’ may be too strong of a word to use in this latter statement. Furthermore, the audience consisted of men and women with different views regarding the topic. The audience were actively debating along about the statements.

Debate on women in politics

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