Female minister resigns... and is replaced by a man

Flemish minister Joke Schauvliege, who resigned this week, is being replaced by a male party colleague. Why don't the Christian Democrats bring more women into the government? 

Marjan Justaert
Marjan Justaert De Standaard, Belgium
Source: De Standaard
Female minister resigns... and is replaced by a man - NewsMavens
Koen Van den Heuvel , Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

The main reason why CD&V (the Belgian Christian Democrats), chose Koen Van den Heuvel to be their new minister is an electoral one -- he determines the Antwerp electoral list and can generate good publicity for the party.

This is yet another missed opportunity to empower one of the party's many capable women. CD&V's track record on gender equality is not great.

In his turn, Van den Heuvel will be replaced by another man as the group leader of CD&V in the Flemish Parliament. This is not an unusual choice by party President Wouter Beke -- he has been previously criticized his track record of nominating mainly men. The party now has seven ministers -- only two of them are women.

Details from the story:

  • On Tuesday, Joke Schauvliege, the minister in the Flemish government for agriculture, nature and the environment, resigned. 
  • Her resignation followed her claim that she knew the "real organizers" of the wave of climate protests happening in Belgium right now. In a speech to an association of farmers, she claimed that she had been informed of the existence of the plot by someone from the state security intelligence service. State security rushed to issue a denial.
  • Her announcement caused an uproar and her party had no choice but to demand her resignation, which she announced in a tearful press conference.
  • On Wednesday, the Christian Democrats announced Schauvliege's successor: Koen Van den Heuvel.
  • It's quite clear that the party's focus is on the upcoming elections, and gender equality is not a priority. 
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.


Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy