Councillor who wants more representation for women gives up his seat

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A newly elected councillor has given up his seat for a younger female colleague because he was concerned about the council chamber being dominated by men.

Jan de Ridder, 74, put himself forward as a candidate for the CDA in Noordwijk, two years after resigning as party group leader.

He received 278 votes in last Wednesday’s election to secure a seat on the council, but said he would be handing it over to 34-year-old Natalie Baarnhoorn.




De Ridder told Omroep West he had decided not to take up his place because it would have meant the party was represented by five men. He spent the week discussing the dilemma with his wife and party colleagues.

‘I deliberately voted for a female CDA candidate in the council elections because I believe women should be given a chance,’ he said on the day of the vote.’The problem is that if I accept the seat on the council, I am taking the place of a young female colleague.’

De Ridder said he had been reluctant to be listed as a candidate, but agreed out of loyalty to his party. ‘I said yes, provided I was given a low place on the list. I also told lots of my family and acquaintances: don’t vote for me, vote for another CDA candidate.’


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