(April 26, 2022)
Who will receive the fourth Rifius Pelletier Medal on June 17? Jury Chairman Sibylla Decker argues in her article for an extension of the award. Because it is important for young women to highlight political role models. She was inspired by an American icon: Madeleine Albright, who died in March.
Madeleine Albright was an incredibly strong person and an impressive Secretary of State under President Clinton. She came to the United States as a refugee and never forgot that she was given freedom because she left another regime. He has always been a voice for human rights in his life. Rights that are unfortunately currently under the pressure of various regimes.
Women’s rights are also human rights
“Women’s rights are also human rights,” Albright always said. That’s the nail on the head. Democracy has always been about equality among the people. Regardless of your appearance, gender or orientation. Find out where you are coming from. Don’t hide it, but show who you are, what you want to achieve and stand up for women’s rights. This is an important lesson for albright young women.
His other famous quote: “For women who do not help other women, a special place in hell is reserved”. A special comment that I totally agree with. Of course as a woman in a high position you still need to keep track of the qualities of women who will continue their life. Can’t live without helping and supporting them, right? In my view, women should help each other more often.
It is important to support other women regardless of their political affiliation or beliefs. It starts with looking good around you. What women are in your area, and what can you do for each other? When I reached high positions myself, for example as a director in the Ministry of Agriculture, I was always looking for women who could support me. In addition, I was the co-founder and chairman of the organization Talent to the Top. In my new position as President of the North Sea Consultation, I also seek to have the opportunity to advance staff with talented, young women. It is very important for women not to lose weight, but rather to rely on content and process. Not at any cost, but based on the belief that a person may fail and that you can help them further.
Even if we are on the right track, equality is still a long-standing issue. Since the beginning of this year, the legal female quota for the business community and the public sector has been in effect. I was not in favor of it at first. Efforts to achieve this without legislation have long been underway. But in practice, such a strong tool is still needed for women to advance to higher positions. The Netherlands needs to get out of a recession. In addition, mixed teams within organizations lead to more balanced and efficient decision making and better collaboration. I firmly believe this, and it has been scientifically proven.
Fortunately, more women were elected in the last municipal election. It provides an opportunity for councils, states and colleges to have a more balanced system. If more than 1 woman is represented in a formal body – the Cabinet, the Provincial Administrator or the Board of Directors – this special status of these women will disappear. Then you reveal that you are in the influence system of women. North Holland has good distribution with 3 female and 3 male delegates. With such a combination you will get the best balance of perspectives and it is very natural for women to fill these positions. That is the true acceptance. Then it does not treat men and women alike. Central to different characters, values and how they complement each other.
Beautiful stage with the Rifius Pelletier Medal
Not only does North Holland have a good male-female quota in the provincial administration and provincial council, but it is also the only province to have been recognized as the Rifius Pelletier Medal. It’s special. The medal will be awarded for the 4th time this year and I hope many more good candidates will be nominated again.
The last awards ceremony will take place in 2023, but as far as I am concerned this medal will continue for years to come. Elections provide a wonderful stage for women who would otherwise not care. And our winners Devika Partyman, Manja van der Waite and Silvana Simons are inspiring role models for women to follow. Therefore, I hope that the provincial administration will reconsider its decision to retain this incentive for women in North Holland politics.
Candidates for the Ribbius Peletierpenning 2022 can register until May 31st www.penning.noord-holland.nlThe jury will select a woman who will be eligible for this award.
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