Blog entry | 10-05-2022 | Get to know our ambassadors and their work
Violence against women and girls. Domestic Violence. You should get out of the world. On behalf of the Netherlands, Pascal Grotenhuis, Ambassador for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, advocates for the rights of women and girls. What is the Netherlands doing for women internationally and why?
From a misogynistic observation at work to murder in a relationship: violence against women and girls is still rampant. Not only all over the world, but also in the Netherlands. Pascal: “People don’t always think about it, but in the Netherlands a woman is killed every eight days by a partner or ex-partner.”
Pascal has been an ambassador for women’s rights and gender equality since the end of 2020. Her job is to keep women’s rights and gender equality high on the international agenda.
Pascal says equality is the key word. “Women’s rights shouldn’t just be a feminist thing.”
It’s a fact that teams and organizations that are diversely composed perform better. You also see this in international negotiations: You can achieve sustainable results when women are also at the negotiating table. Moreover, investing in women and girls is one of the smartest things any country can do to tackle poverty.
The coronavirus pandemic has curtailed the rights and freedoms of women and girls around the world. Violence against women and girls has increased in particular during global lockdowns. Also known as the shadow pandemic.
Pascal knows the stats by heart: “Every three months of lockdown causes 15 million females to fall victim to domestic and sexual violence worldwide. We are so much more online, and the downside is more cyber violence and online sexual harassment against women.
And that’s not all. School closures mean girls are off the radar in many countries. Child pregnancies are on the rise. Girls end up on the street, in the informal sector.
‘We have taken steps back because of Corona. For me it is motivation to do more.
The Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world that has its own youth ambassador for sexual and reproductive rights, health, gender equality and freedom of choice. Youth Ambassador Laura Bass is working closely with Pascal to give the voice of young women a place in Dutch government policy.
Watch the video of Youth Ambassadors Laura Bass and Pascal Grotenhuis, Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Ambassadors on Facebook.
What do you think the Netherlands?
The Netherlands defends equal rights for women and girls everywhere in the world. Preventing and stopping violence against women is the spearhead of Dutch human rights policy.
The Netherlands is one of the countries that signed the so-called Istanbul Convention. This Convention is the most comprehensive international agreement aimed at preventing and combating (domestic) violence against women and girls.
Pascal also adds that the situation for women and girls in the Netherlands itself is “not yet ideal” at all. For example, there are still significant differences in salary and fewer opportunities for women in the labor market.
We don’t go out into the world to lecture others. It makes your story more powerful if you take a soft stance and say: Not everything is going well with us either, so how can we address the problems?
Pascal summarizes “Women’s rights are human rights.” “Our constitution states that we are bound by this throughout the world.”
What is the Netherlands doing against violence against women and girls?
Read what the full Dutch diplomatic commitment to women and girls looks like.