Last week it was Budget Day. On this day, the government presents its plans for the next parliamentary year by way of a Throne Speech. But the Throne Speech contained more of the same this year. The policy is still aimed at more production and consumption, more export. This is not at the expense of the earth and animals only, but also at the expense of ourselves and our living environment. The focus must be on the immaterial values that really make life worth living: such as combating poverty, inequality and injustice, safety, animal welfare and the quality of life on earth.
As with every year, Budget Day was again a perfect opportunity to make a statement with our outfits. I wore a dress to honour the 100 year-anniversary of woman suffrage in the Netherlands. The dress pictures Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the British woman suffrage movement (the suffragettes). The picture of 1908 shows how Pankhurst is taken away by two police officers during a demonstration for women’s rights. The dress was designed by Yasmina Ajbilou and Lynn Kate Rosdorff. They focus on zero waste fashion.
100 years after the introduction of passive woman suffrage, there is still a significant imbalance between men and women in parliament. I am the only woman out of thirteen party chairmen in the Lower House. This lack of diversity in the Lower House is a serious democratic deficit and shows that many women and minorities have trouble getting a place in government tiers in the Netherlands. These government tiers should reflect our society. More diversity in politics contributes to better solutions for greater issues that will affect us all, such as climate change and the food crisis. In the spirit of the suffragettes, the Party for the Animals will continue its fight for more rights for minorities and the most vulnerable in our society.
A good development in the area of diversity is happening in Serbia. In the capital Belgrade, the Serbian prime minister participated in the Gay Pride (Belgrade Pride) for the first time in the country’s history. Serbia’s openly gay prime minister, Arna Brnabic, wanted to show that diversity makes our society stronger by joining the Pride. Wonderful! Of course, we heartened the participants to the Pride through social media.
Gay Pride in Serbia
Next Saturday, the 30th of September, I will give a lecture in Madrid in the Museo Lázaro Galdiano. I will talk about our party’s successful role in encouraging animal rights in the Netherlands as well as abroad. I will also talk about influencing the political decision-making as a necessary instrument for improving the position of animals, nature and the environment.
Poster of the international conference in Madrid
My lecture is part of a closed conference that we are organising in Madrid for our sister parties and animal welfare organisations. The central theme of this conference is the stray animal problem. Participants from all parts of the world – from Morocco to Taiwan, and from Georgia to Australia will meet each other, share knowledge and inspire each other. Prominent experts from the International Companion Animal management (ICAM) coalition will share their expertise with the attending guests. I’m really looking forward to it!
My lecture on the 30th of September is a public one, so if you are around in Madrid, please join us! There is a limited number of seats available, so I recommend booking your free ticket here in advance.
Have a great week,