History made as woman may lead orthodox Christian local party

For the first time in its history, the orthodox Christian party SGP may have a female candidate for political office, television programme De Vijde Dag reports.

Lilian Janse, 40, is hoping to be chosen to lead the SGP’s campaign for the local elections in Vlissingen, where she lives. Janse told the broadcaster she has always wanted to represent the party.

The SGP has only recently ended its official ban on women running for political office following pressure from Brussels and women’s rights organisations.

The Dutch Supreme court and European Court of Human Rights last year ordered the party to give women the right to stand as MPs and councillors. The SGP has three seats in the 150-seat parliament.


The party believes the Netherlands should be governed according to Biblical principles and does not think women should have the right to vote.

Despite technically allowing women to run for office, commentators said at the time the party is unlikely to approve any women as candidates.

According to De Vijfde Dag, the local SGP branch approached six men to lead the campaign but all refused. Janse, who is the daughter of a local councillor, then volunteered.  She is the only candidate for the job.

The local party must now take a vote to decide if Janse can run. It currently has no seats on Vlissingen council.

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