Femke Halsema Social

Amsterdam - Femke Halsema


Femke Halsema


Coat of arms


Municipality: 219.32 km2


Municipality: 866,737

Postal zone


Area code(s)

+31 (0)20


Body: Municipal council
Mayor: Femke Halsema

Femke Halsema


The Netherlands is known around the world for its cheese, windmills, iconic canals and progressive policies. It scores exceptionally well when it comes to business climate, infrastructure, education, environment protection and many other fields. It is therefore no surprise that the Netherlands also excels on many gender equality metrics and is regarded as a global pioneer in this field. The Gender Equality Index is a composite indicator that assesses gender equality across 27 European Union member states. The Netherlands is ranked third in the EU on the Gender Equality Index, with 75.9 points out of 100, which is also 7.9 points above the EU average. Since 2018, the Netherlands’ score in the domain of power has improved by two places mostly due to boosted gender equality in terms of economic decision-making. The Dutch capital Amsterdam made global headlines in 2018 after it chose a first-ever female mayor. Not only did Femke Halsema become the first woman to assume the position, but she was also the first mayor of GroenLinks as the political party PvdA has previously ruled the Dutch capital since 1946. The 55-year old Halsema was previously a member of the Dutch parliament and also served as a leader of her party GroenLinks between 2002 and 2010.  During the 19th century, women were not allowed to run neither for the position of a mayor nor for a place in the City Hall. The first woman was elected to the municipal council in 1919, which marked a significant breakthrough. Carrie Pothuis-Smit, who would later become the first woman in the Senate, was one of the five female councillors in 1919. Halsema’s election as a mayor was therefore considered another breakthrough for the Dutch capital. When the Harlem-born politician was elected as a new mayor, she was faced with a certain level of scepticism and doubtfulness. However, Halsema was determined to go through with her plan, partly because she was sure it would set a bad example for other women if she gave up. In the 2019 interview, Halsema told us that obstacles along the way do not scare her away but rather only make her do even better. “Yes, it does a bit. In the run-up to becoming a candidate, I sometimes thought, compared to my own 15-year-old daughter and many other young women, I’ve been through a lot, I can’t come to much harm. I’ve become independent over the years. I think it’s important that young women see that there are women who can hold their own in the face of opposition,” mayor Halsema stated in the 2019 interview. “Look, the proof of the pudding is in the eating: I’ve simply got to show that I’m a good mayor, in the course of time. Being a woman doesn’t play a role. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t miss the chance as mayor to stand up for young women if I can, to help them achieve their rights,” she continued. Though the coronavirus pandemic has largely changed our lives in the past two years, mayor Halsema remained committed to making Amsterdam a better and safer place for all its residents. She has also addressed the issue of unsustainable mass tourism that Amsterdam has been battling with for a while. To mark 2020 International Women's Day, mayor Halsema had a special message to women of Amsterdam: To be able to be who you want, that is what I find really important in our city! That you can make your own choices, be independent and be recognized for who you are. Women of Amsterdam: I hope corona is over soon. That you can move freely everywhere and be who you want to be!” 


More info about city

Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands, with a population of 866,737 within the city proper, 1,380,872 in the urban area, and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. Amsterdam is in the province of North Holland.

A message from Femke Halsema