Since 1918 The Netherlands has witnessed the founding of numerous women′s organisations. The history, present situation and future developments of Dutch women′s networks are analysed by means of network theory. Women′s networks have been established to give women professional and private support which they did not find in other social and organisational circuits. Women′s networks are growing not only in number, but also in size. With the aid of network theory three trends are pointed out: (1) temporary support networks become real social networks, (2) temporary issue and support networks are being created within the broader framework of networks, (3) women′s networks are turning into organisation networks. This higher degree of organisation resembles the development of the role of trade unions in society. The women′s movement seems to be moving in the same direction; therefore a higher degree of organisation is a challenge for the future. First, in order to become a major stakeholder for organisations the women′s networks need to accept their mutual interdependence and should start working according to the principles of partnership. They need to co‐operate, and the forces within the women′s movement need to be concentrated so that the entire movement can gain strength. Secondly, the diversity of women′s organisations demands an internal reorientation in order to survive the external and internal demands of the 1990s on these networks.
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