Fundamentalist Christian party takes ban on women to Europe

Fundamentalist Christian party SGP is to ask the European court of human rights to uphold its ban on women becoming MPs.

The SGP opposes voting rights for women but was forced to open its prospective MP list after a ruling by the Dutch high court in April.
The court then ruled women have the right to be included on the party’s official list of candidates and the state has a duty to ensure they have this right in practice.
Freedom of religion
In doing so, the court put equal rights legislation above freedom of religion rules.
The SGP operates according to a strict interpretation of the Bible and believes that the country should be governed ‘entirely on the basis of the ordinances of God’.
In a statement, the party said: ‘The high court ruling contravenes various rulings from the court of human rights with regard to freedom of religion and political parties. It affects not just the SGP, but also other Christian organisations.’
While women are now allowed to join the party, they are still banned from voting, taking office or becoming MPs. The party has two seats in the 150-seat Dutch parliament and receives €800,000 in government support a year.

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