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WO=MEN, Dutch Gender Platform (women equals men)

WO=MEN is the largest gender platform in the Netherlands and is unique in its kind in Europe. WO=MEN works in the Netherlands and worldwide for equal power structures between women and men, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression and sex characteristics.

The composition of WO=MEN is unique: about 50 organisations and 136 professionals have committed themselves to WO=MEN: development and peace organisations, women’s and gender rights organisations, diaspora, trade unions, police, journalists, knowledge institutions, academics, military, entrepreneurs, students and opinion makers. Together we champion a fair world where gender equality and the rights of women and girls are respected and where there is room for sustainable development. In doing so, we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals 2030: no-one should be left behind because of poverty or inequality. 

The strength of WO=MEN
WO=MEN is better informed because of our wide cooperation. As a network we are better able to influence decision-making than ‘stand-alone’ organisations, and more effective. For twelve years we have been committed to a strong and independent gender policy as part of Dutch foreign policy. In doing so, we focus on the themes of Sustainable Support for Gender Equality & Women’s Rights, Sustainable Economic Development and Gender, Peace & Security.

Over the last few years we have also been asking for the necessary focus on gender mainstreaming in domestic policy areas. We regard the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs) as an important overarching framework. There is progress at national and international level with governments, firms and civil society accepting responsibility for the coherence and implementation of (gender) policy. SDG5 calls on everyone to achieve gender equality and to empower all women and girls; necessary as a ‘stand-alone’ objective but also as part of all SDGs. The problems, inequality and infringement of rights must be tackled in all policy areas. 

How does WO=MEN work?
WO=MEN influences laws and policy in the Netherlands and worldwide, we monitor policy, share knowledge, join forces and connect and mobilize people. 

The interventions by WO=MEN and its members stem from the roles and tasks of WO=MEN. We are lobbyist and consultant, a network, the watchdog and activist and ‘linking pin’. 
  • Lobbying & Advocacy: Setting the agenda for, informing, advising and influencing society, ministries, institutions and politics. 
  • Connecting & Strengthening: The network where connecting and strengthening our members and strategic partners is central. We bring them into contact with each other and with relevant activists, organisations, academics or companies.
  • Watchdog: Pointing out gender inequality and infringement of women’s rights. Pointing out the closing civic space. Monitoring of (development and implementation of) laws and policy. Exposing unequal power structures, stereotyping, gaps and inconsistency in policy.
  • Gathering & sharing knowledge: Making research and policy advice available. Making social and political trends visible. Making the lessons learned and good examples from the field accessible. Translating knowledge, research and experience of members into advice for relevant ministries and/or the Dutch Parliament.


In de Kennisbank vind je meer informatie over wereldwijde gendergelijkheid, respect voor vrouwenrechten en alle thema’s waar WO=MEN zich voor inzet.