Princess Máxima has opened a national project to get low-educated women into work. "Table for One" is an initiative by Women Inc. – a platform of women’s participation in society and the workplace.
The initiative consists of a series of so-called "kitchen table" meetings with unemployed women with a buddy. “By telling your story and listening to one another, you discover your strengths and what interests you,” says a Women Inc. spokesperson. The women’s organisation hopes to inspire and motivate tens of thousands of women to find work or follow training courses in the next few years.
A study by the Dutch Ministry for Education, Culture and Science reveals that there are a million low-educated women in the Netherlands. According to Jannet Vaessen, director general of Women Inc. less than half of women in the Netherlands are financially independent although many of them may have to support themselves at some point. “In 2011, one in three marriages ended in divorce, in 2012 more divorces are predicted. Poverty is also on the increase and will mainly hit women.” The idea behind the project is to make women aware of the necessity of being economically independent and of their possibilities.
The project has been set up in cooperation with the education ministry, local councils and local organisations. The “kitchen table” meetings will be held in ten municipalities this year, but 22 have already shown an interest in the project. The organisers hope the project will spread across the whole country.
It is Princess Máxima's first official engagement since her brother-in-law, Prince Johan Friso's ski-ing accident two-and-a-half weeks ago in the Austrian Alps. He has been in a coma since being buried in an avalanche.
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