The Dutch government seeks to promote equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities for men and women. 

The Netherlands stands up for equal rights for women and girls, all over the world. Preventing and eliminating violence against women is a priority of Dutch human rights policy. The Netherlands are a party to the Istanbul Convention (the Council of Europe (CoE) Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence). It’s is the most far-reaching international legal instrument to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence.

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Chile runs visible, thought-provoking campaigns to call attention to the problem of violence against women. For instance, during the Orange the World campaign in 2021, the Embassy had the great honor of sponsoring the orange lighting of the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center (GAM) in Santiago in order to give visibility to violence against women, which has also increased considerably during the pandemic.

In many developing countries, sexuality is a taboo subject. Not everyone has access to contraceptives or HIV/AIDS medication. In addition, many women give birth without expert medical assistance. This situation prevents fair and equal development. The Dutch government supports several projects focused on combating maternal mortality, treating HIV/AIDS and helping LGBTI minorities.

How the Netherlands promotes SRHR: 

  • Giving financial support to key organisations:
  • the Global Financing Facility (GFF), which works to prevent infant and maternal mortality.
  • the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which makes contraceptives available in developing countries. It also works to end child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).
  • UNAIDS, the United Nations fund which aims to stamp out HIV and ensure universal access to antiretrovirals.

The Netherlands fosters dialogue between women and government authorities on sensitive subjects like sex education, sexual rights and abortion. The Netherlands collaborates in these efforts with like-minded countries, such as Chile.

Many women in the Netherlands are not in work or work part-time. As a result, about 1 in 6 women do not have enough money to be economically independent. Their income is less than 70% of net minimum wage. The government wants to increase women’s economic and financial independence.

Chile and the Netherlands are like-minded on gender issues in the multilateral context. Over the past decades, gender equality in Chile has advanced along several important dimensions, for example in terms of educational outcomes. Nonetheless, fundamental social and economic gender gaps persist. The traditional male breadwinner vis-à-vis female homeworker divide is still prevalent in Chile, as can be seen from the fact that the combined paid and unpaid working hours of employed women exceeds that of employed men by 12 additional hours of weekly work. The Chilean government puts particular attention on this uneven distribution of unpaid work, and the extra burden this places on women. The ties between our two countries keep growing stronger, thanks to like-mindedness in addressing shared issues, including gender inequalities.

The Netherlands works for gender equality by integrating women’s rights and gender equality into all aspects of its foreign policy. In practice, this means that the specific interests of women and girls are considered in policy and programmes focused on human rights, security, foreign trade and international cooperation. The recently announced feminist foreign policy is essentially about complete equality between all individuals; the policy will be fleshed out over the coming period.

Chile has also committed itself to pursuing a feminist foreign policy, which is another illustration of the shared values between our countries. The development of a feminist foreign policy will be a hallmark and vanguard element of Chile’s diplomacy, consistent with its commitment to human rights and the parity of the Constitutional process underway. This shows how both the Netherlands and Chile keep developing towards a more just and inclusive society, which is an important underpinning of the Chilean-Dutch relationship.

WPS focuses on protecting women and girls in conflict regions and strengthening their role in peace talks. The fund helps to implement the Netherlands’ National Action Plan 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in 9 countries. Capacity building for advocacy for women’s rights organisations is a major element of this effort. The WPS fund contains almost €35 million. 

examples of...

what we do to support justice and an inclusive society in Chile

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DGA: Dirección General de Agua, Ministerio de Obras Públicas (

GORE: Gobierno Regional

CDRP: Corporación Regional de Desarrollo Productivo (

DOP: Dirección de Obras Portuarias, Ministerio de Obras Públicas (

DOH: Dirección de Obras Hidráulicas, Ministerio de Obras Públicas (

APR: Agua Potable Rural (

"Nicolás tiene dos papas"

The Netherlands strives to protect and promote human rights all over the world. Embassies play an important role in this. In light of this, the Dutch Embassy financially supported the children’s story project “Nicolás tiene dos papas”, which was produced by Movilh in 2014. This book aims to educate children about diversity and respect for all family compositions. Both the original edition and the reprint of 3000 new copies were financed by the embassy. 

Orange the world

On November 25 2021, we kicked off the “Orange the World” campaign. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women launched 16 days of activism. Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. In times of crises, the numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts and climate disasters.

To raise awareness, the theme of 2021 was “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”. Orange is our color to represent a brighter future free of violence against women and girls. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Chile took part in the orange movement and sponsored the orange lighting of the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center (GAM). At the inaugural ceremony of the campaign, the Counselor of our Embassy, Lisette den Breems, had the honor of giving a powerful speech, which you can read below:

On this important day I would like to share a few words with you. My name is Lisette den Breems. I grew up in Holland. I had an uncomplicated childhood there. I hated extremes since I was young. I always looked at everything from different perspectives. Always defending the right to have different points of view.

But there were exceptions. I remember like it was yesterday when I read a lot about the civil war in Yugoslavia. An article with a photo of women who were systematically abused, raped, as part of a war strategy. The image didn’t let go of me. Every time I read about sexual violence against women and girls, perpetuated from an unfounded feeling of superiority, I felt an incredible rage, and an urge to combat this violence. I’ve never lost that. Not in my diplomatic career, not the day before yesterday, when I read the statements of the mp-elect Kaiser. Any form of violence, including instigating violence, is unacceptable.

That is why I am very honored to be here with all of you. This campaign is very important. My government believes so. That is why we contribute to make it possible to illuminate the GAM in orange tonight. To draw attention to violence against women, which can take many forms. Domestic violence, sexual violence, marital rape, human trafficking, economic and psychological violence, online harassment and verbal abuse. Violence that can never be justified. A problem that should never be underestimated.

If we do not address the root causes of violence, our efforts to eliminate it will be significantly less effective.

And one of the roots of violence against women is in inequality, in unequal power relations. These can be magnified in times of conflict. But inequality is also embedded in the stereotypes that we use every day. Charity activities at my son’s school, where dolls are given for girls and balls for boys. We must all be aware of these stereotypes and eradicate them.

The fight against violence against women is not a matter of the left or right. It belongs to all of us. Almost 1 in 3 women has been abused in her lifetime. And in times of crisis, the numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts, and climate disasters. It was also the case for Chile, with prolonged confinements.

Fortunately, I have seen many women here in Chile raising their voices. Great! And men too, which is just as important. We must involve the whole of society, both men and women, boys and girls.

The color orange, a color that symbolizes hope, is chosen around the world as the color of the campaign against violence against women. The Government of the Netherlands joins the campaign as the goals fit into our national priorities: ending gender-based violence, achieving gender equality and fulfilling the promise to leave no one behind, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Count on us during this 16-day campaign and also the remaining 349 days of the year! Let’s “Orange the World” together!

Responsible Business Conduct

The Dutch government wants to ensure that Dutch companies engage in socially responsible business practices abroad. Responsible business conduct (RBC) means they should take account of human rights, working conditions and the environment in their operations. If Dutch companies do business abroad, the Dutch government expects them to conduct business responsibly. This means that Dutch companies doing business in Chile should take account of their activities have on people and the planet.

In light of this, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Santiago, in collaboration with Holland House Chile, organized an event on responsible business conduct in April 2021. The enthusiasm and commitment among Dutch companies in Chile and their Chilean partners when it comes to responsible business conduct was expressed during this meeting, showing that we can do great things together as NL-Chilean business community.

Input for a new Chilean constitution: the experience of the Netherlands

The Netherlands is observing with great interest the constituent process in Chile that will define the future trajectory of the country. Within this framework, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Santiago has made itself available to share Dutch experiences on constitutional processes and content, for example through a webinar on consensus politics and one on water policy/the need to rewrite the social contract around water.


With its extremely elongated shape, 4,000 kilometres from north to south, and geographic diversity, Chile has a multitude of water issues. The availability of water is one of the most urgent issues. The north of Chile in particular is extremely dry. In 2019, the Netherlands and Chile started the GIRAgua recharge pilot project aimed at water retention and underground storage in the Coquimbo region.

The GIRAgua recharge pilot project is looking at the catchment area of the Elqui River which flows from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean. This catchment has hardly any water in the dry season, but does have water in the rainy season which then disappears straight into the sea. The project consists of aquifer recharge and underground storage practices to contribute to integrated water management of the Coquimbo region. The project is an initiative of a Dutch consortium led by Deltares and co-implemented with Chilean partners.  Financially, GIRAgua is supported by the subsidy scheme of the Dutch Partners for Water programme and the Government of the Coquimbo region.