This information was last updated in 2015 and may have changed since then. EIGE will next update the information at the end of 2019.


In the 2000 Multi-Year Policy Plan: Emancipation, the Dutch government announced its preconditions for gender mainstreaming and required both departmental and interdepartmental structures to be set up. The plan also required that all ministries should prepare a report on gender mainstreaming indicating how the five preconditions were met.


The central gender-equality policy department in the Dutch government is the Directorate for Emancipation, established in 1970. It has been situated at an intermediate level in the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science since the Cabinet changes of 2007. Women’s emancipation and the emancipation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have been integrated into its portfolio. The Minister for Education, Culture and Science presents the national emancipation policy framework to parliament in what is known as a policy letter.

Laws and Policies

In the Netherlands there is no differentiation between equal opportunities and anti-discrimination law. Rather, both are included under the Equal Treatment Act, enforced by an Equal Treatment Commission (merged in 2012 into the newly established Netherlands Institute for Human Rights). Gender is thus treated as a relevant category of discrimination.

Gender mainstreaming is subject to many policy documents. In 2001 the government adopted a position paper on gender mainstreaming. Five preconditions for gender mainstreaming were defined: