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Girls & Women

Amsterdam Is About to Welcome Its First-Ever Female Mayor

Amsterdam has chosen a woman mayor for the first time in its history, the BBC reported.

Femke Halsema, who led the country’s left-wing Greens party from 2002 to 2010, was nominated by the left-led city council and will succeed Eberhard van der Laan, who died last year. Her nomination must be ratified by the government and signed by the king before becoming official, but she is expected to be sworn in later this summer.

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“It is a great privilege to be able to serve my fellow city dwellers in the coming years,” Halsema said in a post on her own website. “I will do everything within my power to be the mayor of all Amsterdammers.”

During her time in parliament, Halsema was known as a spokesperson for justice, asylum seekers, and home affairs, becoming widely known for her vocal opposition to tougher immigration law.

In the interim between her departure from front-line politics in 2011 and her nomination, Halsema “produced a television documentary series, worked as a writer, led several research projects, and has chaired a number of charitable foundations,” reported DutchNews.

Her appointment comes at a time when the city is faced with balancing the needs of longtime residents, high numbers of tourists, and an ongoing effort to court larger companies to boost the local economy, reported Fortune.

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Supporters say she is up to the task.

"Femke Halsema is definite and connecting,”Johnas van Lammeren (PvdD), head of the confidential committee in charge of selecting a candidate to be mayor, said in a report by Netherland Times. “She knows the city, the different layers of society, the problems and the challenges, through and through. She sees in an inspiring way the opportunities and possibilities in Amsterdam and also sees the vulnerability."

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