Yesterday the Second Chamber of Dutch parliament demanded quota for women in top jobs. This came hot on the heels of the announcement by the leadership of Dutch telecom giant KPN they would exclude male candidate from applying for top jobs. Second Chamber now demands that Dutch corporations include at least 30% women in their top management (now at 7%), even though research after research has shown not a great number of women want to work full time, let alone the hours necessary to secure a top job in corporate life.
But the twilight moment of the day came when the VVD (liberal conservative) came out in support of the quota plans. The VVD is traditionally a pro-market party advocating a minimum of government interference. But not in this case. Said Frans Weekers, VVD MP in Second Chamber:
This is a temporary impulse to break through the old boys network.
This nearly led to open revolt within the VVD, but today they came out with the rather confused and incomprehensible position (NL) that they are against quota, except for women in boardrooms. Citing the temporary nature of the measure (if indeed it is temporary. There exists some doubt about this), the VVD fraction in parliament is quite content to the plans, because it isn’t a quota-quota, or some such.
But just how dismally our current crop of parliamentarians fulfil their duty of representation in parliament was revealed by the Dagelijkse Standaard (NL) today.
On April 23 and 24 last year the fraction spokespersons for Finance had a General Meeting at the end of which Paul Kalma (PvdA; Labour) introduced a motion imposing binding quota on top appointments in corporate Holland. The motion was co-signed by Pieter Omzigt (christian democrats) an the earlier mentioned Frans Weekers.
However, nearly a month earlier, on April 7, feminist lobby group ‘Women on Top’ (nudge-nudge, wink-wink. Giddit?) reported that such a motion would be carried. How did they know? No such motion had been debated in fraction meetings after all. The Dagelijkse Standaard cite a source claiming that ‘Women on Top’ had written the motion themselves. Moreover, they had taken it upon themselves to secure a majority in Second Chamber.
In December last year, WoT awarded their first ever award to honour politicians active in promoting the position of women in corporate Holland. And the winners of this award: Kalm, Omtzigt and Weekers.
With the award as payment for services rendered, these three guided a motion dreamt up by ‘Women on Top’ through parliament. So what if you betray the principles of the party you claim to represent in the process? A small price to pay for sliming your way into the affections of powerful women, you’ll agree.
Evidently, one doesn’t have to be a woman to be a prostitute.