UK

Women Not Allowed To Serve Food At Hague Summit 'In Case Men Get Distracted'

25/03/2014 12:40 GMT | Updated 25/03/2014 12:59 GMT
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Heads of State attend the opening session of the Nuclear Summit in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Monday, March 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, POOL)

Women are not allowed to serve food at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague because they might distract the men. No it's not April 1st yet.

Apparently the world leaders from 53 countries couldn't possibly concentrate in the presence of a female, according to the company providing the catering, so only men have been given the great honour of dishing up the grub.

The director of the catering company, Hans van der Linde, was apparently keen to create a “uniform” look amongst his staff, and women quite simply did not fit in.

Speaking to the Dutch national newspaper the Algemeen Dagblad he argued: “If 20 gentlemen are serving and three platinum blonde ladies, then that spoils the image."

"The personnel needs to act in as reserved a manner as possible, and you can’t achieve that by adding a couple of pretty, conspicuous ladies to the mix,” he added.

Whatever you say, Hans...

As his comments, unsurprisingly, sparked fury on social media sites, van der Linde justified his decision to Radio 1.

Perhaps digging himself into a hole slighty, he said he had initially come up with “the creative idea to only employ ladies to serve the world leaders, and to have them do that in little Delft Blue dresses.”

The idea was rejected by the ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Van der Linde added: “We also have to go up a very steep flight of stairs, so little dresses wouldn’t be practical, as you wouldn’t be able to lift your legs high enough”.

Many took to Twitter to voice their outrage at such "gender bias" in the 21st Century.

Another commented: "Putin must be laughing his socks off."

Jean-Paul Weijers, director of the Protocolbureau told The Independent that the decision not to employ women could have been made to prevent the world leaders from getting distracted.

So, apparently the men the world trusts with the future of nuclear weapons, can be thrown by a couple of blondes.

He added that world leaders from the Muslim world present may have influenced the decision making.

“They understand that in the West there are different standards, but The Netherlands is a small country that is used to adapting quickly to bigger countries.”