Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Subsidy for party that excludes women reinstated

The Dutch Raad van State (Coucil of State) has judged that the political party SGP (Reformed Political Party) was unjustly denied state funding for its discrimination of women.

The Clara Wichmann Institute, which strives to improve the position of women in society, had originally won a test case against the State of The Netherlands in 2005 on the grounds that political parties were only eligible for state funding if they discriminated against women. The SGP allows women to be active within the party, but on religious grounds refuses to put them up for election to public office.

The ruling in the appeal in the civil procedure is expected on January 17, 2008, but in the meantime the Council ruled that women were not discriminated against because there were many other political parties which do allow women to be elected. I heard a comment on tv this afternoon comparing this to a restaurant being allowed to bar blond people because there were ten other restaurants who would serve them.

At the time this all started payment to the SGP was stopped, so they will now receive their funds for 2006 and I presume for 2007 as well.

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