July 22, 2015

Single women unlawfully excluded from IVF treatment

Filed under: Health,Science by Orangemaster @ 9:58 am

A survey conducted by women’s magazine ‘Opzij’ showed that single women are refused IVF treatment at 19 out of the 39 Dutch hospitals they researched, indicating discrimination. They are often told to go somewhere else with better facilities like a sperm bank or with counselling to avoid telling them flat out they won’t treat single women. The hospitals’ moral view is often that ‘a child should have two parents’, but it is illegal to refuse someone based on their single ‘lifestyle’. On the other hand, a history of abuse or addiction is a good reason to refuse treatment to someone.

Frank Broekmans of the Dutch association of gynaecologists and obstetrician says hospitals that refuse to perform IVF are not acting unlawfully because enough hospitals can cater to single women and it’s not necessary medical attention. He also believes a child is not well-served by having only one parent, but again, that’s discrimination even if it is a widely-held belief.

Bart Fauser of the UMC Utrecht hospital, the same hospital where Broekmans works and the most friendly towards single women looking for IVF treatment, says that there is no scientific proof that children of a single parent have a worse time of it. Once Fauser tried to screen a couple before an IVF treatment and he was heavily criticised, leading him to believe that couples always seem to have the right to decide what’s best for them, but not single women.

All I know is that Belgium has more IVF clinics, and like for many procedures including childbirth (if I can continue to believe the people around me), Dutch residents cross the border to get treated without the hassles they experience in the Netherlands.

(Links: www.volkskrant.nl, www.opzij.nl)

Tags: , , , ,

May 24, 2015

Some children ‘not white enough’ for school

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 1:52 pm

The disturbingly casual Dutch terms ‘black schools’ and ‘white schools’ in the Netherlands, particularly in Amsterdam refer to schools with ‘kids that don’t look Dutch’ and ‘kids that look Dutch’ because Dutch is code for Caucasian and everything else gets lumped into ‘black’.

Unfortunately but not surprisingly, ‘black schools’ don’t do as well as ‘white schools’, and smart parents of both groups try to get their kids into ‘white schools’. Many parents will claim to want their kids to go to a ‘mixed school’, but they are only considered good schools when there’s more ‘white’ kids than ‘black’ kids.

Two schools in one neighbourhood decided to challenge this segregation by getting the ‘kids that don’t look Dutch’ to wear T-shirts that say ‘Is this white enough for you?’, so that two ‘mixed schools’ don’t close because more parents are sending their kids to ‘white schools’ in other neighbourhoods. It’s sad that small children are being taught that their skin colour is putting people off, to put it mildly.

Amsterdam is a city that proudly keeps counting how many different nationalities live together in harmony, but when it comes to schools, segregation is commonplace.

(Link: politiek.thepostonline.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , ,

June 7, 2014

The Hague court wants less female judges

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 5:30 pm

In 2009 for the first time ever women made up the majority of judges in the Netherlands. This year even 64% of the judges of the court of Utrecht are female.

In response, according to Algemeen Dagblad, the court of The Hague (56% female judges) wants to give preferential treatment to male candidates. The court fears having too many women could influence the way the public views the courts’ impartiality.

The court’s plan received support from celebrity lawyer Theo Hiddema in Trouw who warned that you wouldn’t want to create a situation where a male rapist would have face three female judges and a female prosecutor. “Imagine,” Hiddema told Trouw, “that the suspects come from a different culture. Imagine the shame and humiliation when an all-female court tells them their behaviour is not of this time!”

Institutional mansplaining, who would have thought? Only job market news site Werf& appears to have noticed that what the court of The Hague wants is very much against the law. The site points out that affirmative action is only legal when used to help disadvantaged groups.

Although women form the majority of judges in lower courts, as late as 2006 they were still in the minority in appeals courts where a majority of two-thirds of the judges were men, as Trouw wrote back then. Judges that were ‘foreigners’ (allochtonen, Dutch code for people of colour) were in an extreme minority, the paper reported.

According to a Metro article of 2011, sociologist Bregje Dijksterhuis explains the preference of women for judicial robes because an appointment as judge is for life and because it is a job that combines well with having a family. Men on the other hand prefer higher paying jobs as lawyers.

The Dutch Council of Women quotes De Groene from 1947 after the appointment of Johanna Hudig as the first female judge in the Netherlands: “Courts have the reputation of being bastions of conservatism. The greater is our satisfaction at seeing how the court of Rotterdam has stood as one man behind the candidacy of this woman, giving a shining example of a broad and modern vision towards the judicial office.”

Tags: , , , , ,

April 4, 2014

Netherlands ordered to retro-actively pay pregnant freelancers

Filed under: Health by Branko Collin @ 1:27 pm

pregnant-frank-de-kleineThe Dutch state owes 20,000 women who were self-employed and pregnant between 2004 and 2008 maternity leave benefits. NRC wrote yesterday that the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has ordered so.

The committee was the last court of appeals for the Clara Wichmann legal fund, having first been denied by all Dutch courts including the Supreme Court. Like most countries in the world, the Netherlands has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women which includes an article on the right to paid maternity leave.

The Clara Wichmann fund tries to improve the position of women in society through test cases. According to Volkskrant, until 2004 the self-employed had obligatory insurance against income loss because of pregnancy and illness and since 2008 the unemployment office pays out so-called ZEZ benefits (Zwanger En Zelfstandig, meaning ‘pregnant and self-employed’).

(Photo by Frank de Kleine, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , ,

March 29, 2014

The Hague refuses to swear in Muslim council member

Filed under: Religion by Branko Collin @ 10:11 am

old-city-hall-the-hague-pdHasan Kücük of the Islam-Democraten was chided as if he were a child when he wanted to take the oath in order to become a council member of the the city of The Hague. “You know the text is different”, Mayor Jozias van Aartsen said last Thursday during the swearing-in ceremony.

Kücük had said “Zo waarlijk helpe mij Allah” (“so help me Allah”). According to Parool council members may choose from only one of two phrases for the swearing in, “so help me God” and “I promise”.

Confessional paper Trouw added that the rules actually differ per municipality. In the past, the paper said, civil servants of Amsterdam sometimes used the words “as Allah the merciful is my witness”. A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior said in defence of practices like that of The Hague that “the name ‘God’ doesn’t have refer to the Christian god.”

It turns out the Dutch armed forces are the least bigoted of government institutions, perhaps for reasons of tradition. When Indonesia, a largely Islamic country, was still a part of the Netherlands called Dutch India, its officers were allowed to swear an oath on Allah. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said that “one’s religion should not interfere with one’s duty, but an oath doesn’t do that”.

(Photo: public domain photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Tags: ,

May 23, 2013

Musical instrument shop snubs its rock ‘n’ roll clients

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 3:58 pm

A musical instrument shop in Groningen, a city some call the real rock city of the Netherlands (surely a bone of contention with the people of Eindhoven), is looking for someone, male or female, to sell guitars.

They proudly tell us in their advert that their main clientele are rockers, you know, the kind of people who wear black concert shirts, have piercings and tattoos, and favour loud rock music. The shop called Tonika Music wants the ideal candidate to really look like they enjoy selling guitars, have the right qualifications, be convincing, and all the stuff you would expect from a good salesperson, but not have anything in common with the average rocker. They also mention no beards and mustaches, which potential female candidates read as not really wanting women either, but are too daft to say out loud for fear of discriminating!

Blatantly discriminating against people, which goes against Dutch law, the shop will refuse candidates with piercings, visible tattoos, ‘wild hair’ or a predilection for the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. You shouldn’t be a smoker, which they consider as being ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ in a negative way and ideally you should still play in a band and understand musicians. I am sure there are people that fit this description and want to work there, but I’m more worried about the drop in sales that is soon to follow.

A keyboard player on Facebook said it best: “The dumbest sales tactic there is, is valuing your opinion more than you value your clients’ opinion. Luckily, clients are able to discriminate and take their business elsewhere.” The company, currently being trashed on Facebook, has removed their advert, which pretty much proves how stupid they’ve been. People have offered to help them with their PR and give them social media classes. Insulting your clientele has to be the dumbest crisis move ever.

(Photo of Slash, top, by Florex007, some rights reserved. Bottom: partial screenshot of the offending advert via Facebook)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 28, 2011

Orangemaster’s favourite stories of 2011

Filed under: Bicycles,General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 5:33 pm

Another year of posting is coming to an end and it’s time to pick our favourite stories of 2011.

We had a lot of stories about cycling and bicycles which were retweeted by many people (thanks!), encouraging us to make a category for them, and a lot of stories about discriminatory and absurd laws and situations. Oh, and some sports news.

Tags: , , , ,

August 30, 2011

Christians first, then we rank people

Filed under: Religion by Orangemaster @ 2:32 pm

Since 2001 practicing, recognised Christian bureaucrats down at city hall where told that part of their job was to marry everbody, including gays and lesbians. Christian Democrat Minister of Education, Culture and Science Maria Van Bijsterveld said that practicing Christians could refuse to marry gays and lesbians on religious grounds, as long as it does not go against the basic principes set out in the Dutch constitution — they cannot refuse on the basis of race. Therefore, Christians can refuse to marry gays and lesbians, but not an Asian couple. Even my argument assumes the practicing Christian in question is white and has light coloured hair.

According to Piet Hein Donner, Christian Democrat Minister of the Interior, anyone of any other faith does not have the right to refuse to marry anybody on those same grounds. Christian are therefore protected by law, but other people have to just do their job and shut up. In my book, that’s discrimination. Or favouritism.

And so we’ve learnt two painful facts about the current Dutch government: Christians are above people of other faiths and people of other ethnic backgrounds are better than gays.

No one ever got the memo that the Dutch constitution has an apartheid-like reading to it. Parliament plans to have a lovely discussion about this state of affairs.

(Link geenstijl.nl, Photo of the Saint Gertrude cathedral in Utrecht by Wikimedia user pepijntje, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , ,

April 14, 2011

Utrecht openly discriminates against non-Dutch in marathon

Filed under: Sports,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:40 am

Utrecht marathon bans foreign runners door tvnportal

On Monday 25 April, the city of Utrecht will hold its annual marathon, and the organisers have decided that non-Dutch participants are less worthy of winning this race as they’re simply too good and win too much. Sounds like something an elementary school teacher would say to the smart children not to hurt the stupid kids’ feelings.

Organisers are trying to discourage Kenyans in particular from taking part, saying only invited runners can win ‘big money’ prizes. Only Dutch nationals have been invited to take part.

If this isn’t discrimination, I don’t know what is. No other Dutch marathon does this.

(Link dutchnews.nl, Tip: Stefan)

Tags: , ,

May 12, 2010

Youth football club bans non-native children

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 11:21 am

Nijmegen youth football club Quick 1888 (in Dutch, under ‘Persbericht’) has adopted a discriminatory policy by “putting children of foreign descent who apply for membership on a waiting list, while accepting native Dutch youth members.” Apparently, parents of non-native children don’t help out with football, don’t have cars to drive the kids to games or have to work on Saturdays.

I played women’s football for a year in Rotterdam and I had no idea that I would spend so much time at the club outside of practices and games, so I do understand the problem. However, communicating to these parents what is needed is much better than telling them they are doing something wrong, expecting to help out of guilt and then turning around and banning their kids!

Not helping out is considered a sin at Dutch amateur football clubs. Currently, over 80 percent of Quick 1888’s juniors are of foreign descent, and it is suffering logistically as a result.”

Hmmm. I played against a Dutch club in Rotterdam that was entirely populated with girls whose parents obviously came from Surinam. Sure, we won 2-0, but it wasn’t easy and they had tons of people helping them out.

This discriminatory and dare I say racist blanket statement from the football club will not help the relations between the kids or the parents: it will shame the native Dutch, embarrass the non-natives who do help and if this article doesn’t help, show how intolerant some Dutch people have truly become.

(Link: rnw.nl, Photo by Wikimedia user Carolus Ludovicus, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , ,