In a groundbreaking moment for the Netherlands, history has been made as the Dutch cabinet now boasts a majority of women for the very first time. The once male-dominated political landscape has undergone a significant transformation, ushering in a new era of gender balance. The scales tipped in favour of women with the appointment of lawmaker Mariëlle Paul as the Minister for Primary and Secondary Education on Wednesday, July 12th. Notably, Paul’s rise to this position follows the resignation of Dennis Wiersma, who stepped down amidst allegations of mistreatment towards ministry employees.
This milestone comes at a time when the Dutch government faced turmoil, with its recent collapse due to internal discord over migration policy, plunging the nation into uncertainty. As the country’s longest-serving premier, Mark Rutte, prepares to exit the political stage after the formation of a new cabinet post-November elections, the appointment of more women ministers adds a symbolic dimension to this transition.
In the interim period until the formation of the next government, the current cabinet members, including Minister Mariëlle Paul, will operate in a caretaker capacity. With the glass ceiling shattered, the Netherlands sets a precedent for other countries to follow suit in striving for genuine gender parity in government and beyond.