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  • Writer's pictureArjanna van der Plas


I frequently wonder if it’s still legitimate to organize events that are purely focused on women.

Shouldn’t we, in 2023, be able to have open, vulnerable, empowering conversations with all genders in the room, if gender is merely a social construct anyway? Why is it that when we recently asked the participants of the WOMEN’S HUB DAY if they would be interested in a HUMAN’S HUB DAY for all genders, 80% said ‘no thanks’?

Questions like these frequently bewilder me.

And then, last month, I was gifted this book, that describes the lives of Dutch women in the 20th century. It gave me an unsettling perspective on the recent history of my home country when it comes to this topic.

Did you know that until 1956 all married women in the Netherlands were legally incapacitated, meaning that they could not enter into contracts or make major purchases?

And it was only in 1984, the year I was born, that married women in the Netherlands gained full legal equality in family law. That means, that until that year, the husband's opinion took precedence over the wife's in decisions about the family’s money, home and kids. In that same year, the abortion law was finally passed, and women got a say about what happened to their bodies.

And a mind-blowing example in the country I currently call home (not from the book ;)) : it was only in 1990 that all women in Switzerland gained the right to vote.

So it’s not that long ago, women’s voices simply weren’t recognized as important.

It dawned on me that it’s as if women have a ‘jet lag’ when it comes to feeling the freedom to share their dreams and ideas out loud. And within that context, it makes sense that it requires creating a safe setting like the WOMEN’S HUB DAY for many women to share their vision on a stage, talk about the ideas they have for the world, and believe that what they have to say will be taken seriously.

So for the foreseeable Nele and I will passionately continue to create those spaces for women in Zurich. And we love seeing that sharing their story for the first time on the WOMEN’S HUB stage propels many women into finding the courage to speak about their dreams and visions on many more stages.

What also gives me hope is that Nele and I are having beautiful conversations with men who want to be part of the WOMEN’S HUB mission, and create a world in which everyone’s voices are equally important. My hope is to organize a HUMAN’S HUB DAY that is as magical as the WOMEN’S HUB DAYs always are in the not too distant future.

I’d love to hear from you how this post resonated with you, whichever gender you identify as! And, if you are Dutch, I highly recommend you to read De Omwenteling, and share your reflections with me.

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