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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Party penalised for woman snub
A Dutch court has ruled that the state must stop funding a fundamentalist Calvinist party, because it refuses to allow women to be full members.

Judges in The Hague said that funding the party was a violation of the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The Reformed Political Party (SGP), which was founded in 1918, will lose about one million euros per year.

The party says it wants government based entirely on Biblical teachings.

The ruling will put renewed pressure on the discussions within the party about membership for women
SGP statement
It campaigns against abortion and for the preservation of Sunday as a day of rest.

It has two members in the lower house of the Dutch parliament and one in the European Parliament.

The SGP said in a press statement that it was disappointed by the ruling, but added that it would not appeal.

"It is clear that the ruling will put renewed pressure on the discussions within the party about membership for women," SGP party leaders Wim Kolijn and Bas van der Vlies said in a joint statement.

The court said the state had not fulfilled its obligations to the UN convention because it had done nothing to stop discrimination against women by the SGP, and also supported the SGP by handing out subsidies.




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