One of the initiators of the Leiden Top 50 is Jenny Bruin. She has long looked at the inequality between men and women with sad eyes. ‘Several studies have shown time and time again that the Netherlands is doing a lot worse – certainly from a European perspective – than other countries in terms of gender equality. I didn’t know that either. I thought: the Netherlands is always at the top of all lists in terms of being happy and everything, but in terms of gender equality, the Netherlands is really behind. ‘
In short, a good reason for Bruin and his associates to come up with the Leiden Top 50. A list of women who have meant something to the city of Leiden in 2019. The women are divided into ten categories. ‘We have care, we have education, we have the government. It’s about giving those women a stage, a piece of visibility and appreciation, “says Jenny Bruin.
Attacks in Leiden
More than a hundred nominations have already been received. “If you read the nominations, it is heart-warming,” says Bruin. ‘It could be someone who really made a difference within her association, in local politics, it could be an entrepreneur who set up something new. It is very broad. Ultimately, a committee of wise women determines which women will actually be in the Leiden Top 50. This is based on the motivation of the applicants. On March 8, International Women’s Day, the Top 50 will be published and also handed over to one of the aldermen of Leiden.
A round of questions in the streets of Leiden shows that the people of Leiden, men and women, can be prodded for the Top 50. ‘I think it is a good idea, because there are quite a few women in Leiden who may not be very visible but do good things, “says a young lady. She would even like to nominate the girls who were assaulted and reported in Leiden last year . “I think that’s very brave and not easy at all.”
More women at the top
A young man also welcomes the idea of the Top 50, because he thinks more women should come to the top. He is a great admirer of science journalist Ionica Smeets from Leiden and would like to nominate her. “I think it is a good move that she is trying to get science more to the people.” And also an English student who lives in Leiden, finds it a sympathetic initiative and would nominate Corinne Hofman, the Leiden archaeologist.
Until 1 February it is possible to nominate candidates via this site .