Rutgers is the Netherlands’ best-known expertise center for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This basically means all topics related to sex and reproduction, such as sex education, contraception, abortion, LGBTQ+ rights, etc.. Rutgers tries to improve people’s sexual health not only nationally, but also internationally. Hivos, Aidsfonds – Soa Aids Nederland, Plan International, Liliane Fonds, Oxfam Novib and CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality also try to improve the living conditions for people worldwide. Liliane Fonds fights for equal (sexual) rights for people with a disability; Aidsfonds tries to decrease the number of STD’s and STI’s in the Netherlands; and Oxfam Novib is committed to emancipation and equal rights all around the world.
All these organizations want the Dutch citizens to know that elections have power over our sexual well-being and determine how (or even if) the Netherlands will try to improve the sexual well-being of people worldwide.
To increase the level of awareness around this topic, these organizations have joined forces to create the Political Sekswijzer. As an intern at the Rutgers organization, I got to be a part of this creation process. Firstly, we worked together to create relevant and clear statements. Secondly, I was in contact with the political parties to gather their opinion on the statements. Then the website was launched, and we all tried our best to get as much publicity as possible around the Policial Sekswijzer. We went on the radio, handed out flyers, used sponsored ads on social media and asked influencers in order to get the conversation going! If you want to know if we eventually reached our targets and made an impact… Talk to Guusje. I would love to tell you more about it!
The Political Sekwijzer is an informational tool, which gives people insights on the opinions from some of the biggest political parties around topics like abortion, homogenization, STD-policies and many more. In the Netherlands there are a lot of political parties running for the House of Representatives. This year, 2023, the Dutch citizens can choose between 26 political parties. All these political parties showcase their views in extensive election programs (verkiezingsprogramma’s). The general voter doesn’t have time to read 26 of these comprehensive documents, therefore there are a lot of informational tools out there which summaries the parties’ points of view. The Political Sekswijzer does this by the use of 16 statements which all revolve around sex and sexual well-being. The voter can state ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’. At the end, the voter will get an overview of all the (participating) political parties in chronological order, based on how much their opinion overlaps with the answers of the voter. Apart from that, the voter has the opportunity to read the explanations of the political parties – why they are for or against each statement.
Guusje Meesters (Performatory) at Rutgers in collaboration with Hivos, Aidsfonds – Soa Aids Nederland, Plan International, Liliane Fonds, Oxfam Novib and CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality.