As a member of the Dutch parliament for GroenLinks, Isabelle Diks uses her position to promote better representation of women in the media; both in the Netherlands and abroad. “What we see a lot in the media and on television is that women are still portrayed in stereotypical ‘female’ roles when it comes to caregiving, or cooking meals.”

“I decided to participate in Media4Women because I believe it is of the utmost importance that women are well represented. What we see a lot in the media and on television is that women are still portrayed in stereotypical ‘female’ roles when it comes to caregiving, or cooking meals. What we often see in commercials is women stirring pots.

Personally, I have nothing to complain about. As a member of parliament I am asked for my expertise on specific subjects and am not forced into that stereotypical role. But we could all do much more about that, jointly. I also try to make sure that more women are seen and heard in the media. If I am invited or if I can put forward an expert for an interview or a TV show, of course I explicitly promote women.

Not just women, but men too can contribute to more female insight in the media. Very often, men have the money, men sit on programme boards, men make programmes, men operate the camera. You always rationalise from your own frame of reference. I think that men could think much more about how they can ensure that not only their own point of view is presented, but that the female perspective is also properly addressed.

When I think about role models that were important to me growing up, then Pippi Longstocking comes to mind. She was a girl who could do anything, who lived alone, was independent, never backed down and she had her own money. She was dependent on no-one, and was able to make her own choices. She was a great inspiration to me.

I wish every girl and young woman could have a role model like her. Through Media4Women, I hope we can show that women and girls can stand up for their own rights. And that we need to think much more about how we can further implement the rights of women and girls, for example by promoting positive role models in the media.”