Party allows ally to field women candidates
UPDATE 12 December 2005, AMSTERDAM — The fundamentalist Christian SGP has decided to allow its ally, ChristenUnie, to field female candidates in the groups' joint list for the local elections in March next year.
UPDATE 12 December 2005
AMSTERDAM — The fundamentalist Christian SGP has decided to allow its ally, ChristenUnie, to field female candidates in the groups' joint list for the local elections in March next year.
The SGP's controversial stance against women running for office was in the news again last week when the party executive rejected four joint SGP-ChristenUnie candidate lists because the more moderate Christian party had nominated some women.
Following heavy criticism within and outside of the SGP, two members of the SGP's headquarters resigned.
This forced the party's executive to reconsider the opposition to the ChristenUnie fielding women candidates. It has now been left up to local branches of the SGP to decide whether to continue cooperating in elections with the ChristenUnie.
Alderman Harmen Akkerman resigned from the SGP last Wednesday because of the party's fundamental objection to women running for office.
He said he hoped his decision to resign would stimulate some movement in the party's attitude. "This issue is constantly being discussed within the party, but up to now there has been no change in the policy," he said.
Akkerman was in charge of Education and Finance policy on Gorinchem town council. He decided to break with the SGP after the party's head office ordered a halt to cooperation with the local branch of the ChristenUnie (CU).
This was the SGP's response to the ChristenUnie's decision to place a woman in a prominent position on the joint SGP/CU list of candidates for next year's local elections.
Women have been included in the electoral list by the CU in the past, but not in such an electable position. The SGP believe the Bible forbids women from running for elected office.
Akkerman has for years pushed for a change in the SGP's attitude to women. "If the SGP believes its standpoint on women to be so important it is a fundamental principle. And then I no longer belong in the party," he said.
The SGP was established in Middleburg in 1918 to fight all forms of emancipation. Earlier this year, a court ordered the party should not longer receive state funding because it refused to allow women to be full members and run for election.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news