On November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, the parties forming a new cabinet are urged to prioritize combating gender-based violence. Fourteen leading social organizations in this field have compiled their action points  for a new governing agreement, which will be presented to outgoing Minister Dijkgraaf of OCW and MariëOe Hamer, the government commissioner for sexual misconduct and sexual violence. 

“Gender-based violence is the most prevalent form of violence in the Netherlands. More than 4 million citizens experience it in their life. However, past cabinets have invested insufficiently in its prevention and intervention. Policies are ad-hoc and fragmented across various ministries and municipalities,” says Marije Cornelissen, Director of UN Women  Netherlands. “With this collection of action points, we demonstrate to the forming parties how things should be.” 

One of the appeals is to finally establish a central national helpline where victims of all forms of violence can seek assistance. Currently, they must navigate a maze of different reporting  points for domestic violence, sexual violence, cyber violence, sports-related violence, among  others. Additionally, there should be a National Coordinator to oversee the intervention, avoiding recurring plans limited to only a few years that tackle a small portion of the problem. 

On November 25, the Orange the World campaign commenced, the United Nations’ campaign against violence against women, simultaneously held in over 100 countries. Olcay Gulsen is the national ambassador for the campaign: “Fortunately, there is increasing attention on this issue, reducing the taboo around discussing violence. But we have a long way to go. What we need is a cultural shift, where everyone feels co-responsible for preventing and addressing gender-based violence, especially men and boys.” The Dutch national launch of the Orange the World campaign takes place this year in Amsterdam, upon invitation by Mayor Femke Halsema and in the presence of outgoing Minister Dijkgraaf, MariëOe Hamer, Olcay Gulsen, Marije Cornelissen, and various other speakers. The campaign is coordinated by UN Women Netherlands, the Union of Soroptimist clubs, and Zonta Netherlands, in collaboration with Inner Wheel, VVAO, YWCA, Veilig Thuis, and Plan International. In the evening, an “Orange Changemakers Dinner,” hosted by Olcay  Gulsen, will be held at LuminAir, managed by Skybar LuminAir in Amsterdam, and floral and  interior design company De Duinroos in Beverwijk.