Tag Archives: inspiring women

“Once more into the breach, my friends!” D66 Delivers On Its Feminist Social-Liberal Tradition in the New Dutch Coalition

Part 2 (of 2): The people in the Dutch coalition: strong D66 women

For me the proudest D66 boast about the new Dutch coalition is that, where all four coalition parties said having more women in government is important, D66 with its social liberal feminist tradition dating from Aletta Jacobs and her British suffragist friends (see my earlier posting about her and Millicent Fawcett) actually delivered on this: with three female and one male Cabinet ministers, and with one male and one female minister, we have the highest proportion of women, and deliver the bulk of the female Cabinet ministers.

And they are not only there because of their gender; they’re quality persons, and we present the first lesbian vice prime minister in Dutch history (married, because D66 introduced gay marriage to the world). Let me give brief descriptions on their expertise and working past:

*) Kajsa Ollongren worked at the top in the Dutch prime minister’s department before becoming alderman and deputy mayor of Amsterdam. She put herself forward for parliament in 2006 when D66 went through an electoral nadir (after an unhappy time in a right-wing coalition), and in Amsterdam she got transnational platforms like Uber and AirBnB to respect the wishes of the local population and put limits on their operation. She is Home Secretary and vice prime minister. In her departmental days she and prime minister Rutte got along famously.

*) Sigrid Kaag who evolved from a British-educated (universities of Exeter and Oxford, and Cairo) Dutch top diplomat to a high-flying UN manager, negotiator and mediator, leading the UN chemical disarmament operation around the Syrian Assad dictatorship. She is Cabinet minister for Development Aid and International Trade, combining the humanitarian D66 instincts with hard-nosed practical experience.

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Inspiring women in fashion: Out and about with Miriam Gonzalez Durantez

We’ve occasionally covered Miriam Gonzalez Durantez’s Inspiring Women campaign. This week the Guardian covered an event which was dedicated to talking to girls about careers in the fashion industry.

Groups of eight students grill each of the women in turn. Leila, 14, who wants to be a journalist, dives straight in and asks Gonzalez Durantez: “Is your job more challenging fun or a fun challenge?”, “Where would you be now if you weren’t here?” and “What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?” On Daisy Lowe’s table, the atmosphere is giddy. “How tall are you?” asks one girl. “Are you a feminist?” poses another. And then, crucially, “Do you know Cara Delevingne?”

Many of the students are deadly serious and focused, pumping the women for information about their big breaks in the industry, asking whether a university degree is necessary in fashion and wondering how one can have a high-flying career and a family – a subject Gonzalez Durantez knows well. “I always get a lot of questions when I tell them that, when we came to the UK, I decided to give up my job to ensure that my family was in the same country,” says Gonzalez Durantez. “I think it’s important for them to see that a ‘hard professional woman’ or a ‘family woman’, it’s a combination of things.”

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Miriam Gonzàlez Duràntez on faking it, elites and inspiring girls

Miriam Gonzàlez Duràntez by Liberal DemocratsThere’s a great interview in the Standard with Miriam Gonzàlez Duràntez. It irks me slightly that Charlotte Edwardes doesn’t even get 20 words into her article before she mentions what Miriam is wearing. At least she got “top corporate lawyer” in there first, so I guess that counts as progress.

All the papers have picked up on what Miriam said to a group of young women – telling them that women have been faking things for years so they should fake self confidence. It’s  about feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

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“Move over Nick” says Telegraph as Miriam Gonzalez Durantez launches women’s network

Liberal Democrats have known that Miriam Gonzalez Durantez has put considerable time and effort into supporting women within the party. She has now moved on to the national stage to launch a campaign, Inspiring Women, which aims to send 15,000 women to talk to 250,000 girls in schools about their careers and to encourage them to aim high.

Earlier this month, we covered her article in the Telegraph in which she explained why she wants to do this:

The new generation of girls are clever, engaged and curious; they are ambitious, but in a realistic way; they are not afraid of

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