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As a part of NautaDutilh's cooperation with Pro Bono Connect, David den Blaauwen, Naud van Doorn and Boudewijn Smit have advised She Matters on their gender-specific recruitment policy and in particular their policy towards trans women, intersex and non-binary people.

With our advice, we provided She Matters with the legal framework to support their gender-specific recruitment policy, where all woman are welcome regardless of their biological sex. This identify focussed rather than sex focussed policy, complies with applicable equal treatment laws. We advised She Matters that from a legal perspective, the term "women" should not only include persons born with the biological female characteristics, but also any person self-identifying as woman. For a person's identity, it is absolutely irrelevant whether this person has undergone a sex reassignment surgery. The person's own gender identity is decisive. With our advice, She Matters now has a legal foundation for their inclusive policy, helping them to continue being advocates for inclusion and female empowerment. 

For this Pro Bono matter, David and Naud went out of their legal comfort zone and dived into the legal framework of gender diversity and equal treatment.
Senior Associate Boudewijn Smit

Boudewijn: "For this Pro Bono matter, David and Naud went out of their legal comfort zone and dived into the legal framework of gender diversity and equal treatment. Their efforts resulted in a very comprehensive and hands-on advice, which helped She Matters to pursue their mission to empower only female newcomers, without violating equal treatment laws." 

Christina: "With NautaDutilh's advice, we now know that we have the law on our side, so we immediately decided to specifically refer to all women, regardless of their sex assigned at birth, in our recruitment outing. This has already resulted in the first trans woman joining our program. It's powerful to see how a trans woman of colour is empowered by the legal efforts of three cisgender white men, demonstrating that everyone can engage in meaningful gender DEI work".

She Matters
She Matters is a social enterprise recruitment agency with a mission to empower women who have a refugee or forced migration background to build their social and economic capital, boost their self-esteem, and become leaders in their homes, businesses and communities. She Matters' mission is to strengthen their position, promote and realise their human rights and achieve gender equality. An important part of She Matters' activities is the Lotus Flower Programme, which aims to prepare the candidates, through several workshops and peer mentoring, to enter the Dutch labour market. Through different partnerships, She Matters works to place their candidates into employment that matches their work experience and education level. If you are interested in She Matters, more information can be found on their website

Pro Bono Connect
Pro Bono Connect is the first public interest clearinghouse in the Netherlands and acts as intermediary between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and law firms. Pro Bono Connect links civil society to lawyers from top law firms to give them free legal advice or assistance in legal proceedings. More information can be found here.

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