Gender discrimination at Dutch universities

Women demonstrating in The Hague in 1978Two weeks ago at the launch of SWIP-NL, there was an interesting discussion about how universal gender discrimination is. The discussion was triggered by Jenny Saul’s presentation, and particularly the overwhelming number of responses and the often shocking reactions she received on “What it is like to be a woman in philosophy”.

The number of female professors in the Netherlands is appallingly low, so there definitely is a problem there. Recently a website got launched by het Proefprocessenfonds Clara Wichmann to collect accounts of gender discrimination at the Dutch universities. The number of complaints about discrimination in general is on the rise in the Netherlands, so it is surprising that not many stories have come in yet. So maybe it is good to mention it here: find it at (all in Dutch) and if you have an incident to report, please do so, as it will strengthen our case.

One thought on “Gender discrimination at Dutch universities

  1. As a Dutchwoman I would say: the number is actually astonishingly high. We have a very, very traditional culture here. Women are allowed to do some paid work outside the home, but 75% of our people expect a woman to marry and have kids. She is then expected to reduce paid work outside the home to a maximum of 3 days each week after the birth of the first baby. If you do more, you’re considered a bad mother. (Source: emancipation monitor 2012).
    Also, the mentality is this: if you criticize society, you’re a complaining hag. If you have problems, it’s your own fault. We are all individually responsible for our own fate.
    Against this background, even two reported incidents would have been fantastic, because reporting sexism is taboo in Holland. We don’t have sexism, you see? We are well above two reported incidents. Great! They are like The Insider, whistleblowers operating behind enemy lines. I salute the courage of the women who reported incidents to

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