Marga Klompé

Marga Klompé

Marga Klompé in 1956
Minister of Culture, Recreation,
and Social Work
In office
22 November 1966  6 July 1971
Prime Minister Piet de Jong
Preceded by Maarten Vrolijk
Succeeded by Piet Engels
Minister of Education, Arts, and Sciences (ad interim)
In office
23 April 1963  June 1963
In office
7 November 1961  4 February 1962
Prime Minister Jelle Zijlstra
Preceded by Jo Cals
Succeeded by Jo Cals
Minister of Social Work
In office
13 October 1956  24 July 1963
Prime Minister Jelle Zijlstra
Preceded by Frans-Jozef van Thiel
Succeeded by Jo Schouwenaar-Franssen
Personal details
Born Margaretha Albertina Maria Klompé
(1912-08-16)16 August 1912
Arnhem, Netherlands
Died 28 October 1986(1986-10-28) (aged 74)
The Hague, Netherlands
Political party Catholic People's Party
Alma mater Utrecht University
Religion Roman Catholic

Margaretha Albertina Maria 'Marga' Klompé (16 August 1912 – 28 October 1986) was a Dutch politician and member of the Catholic People's Party.

Klompé was member of the House of Representatives (1948–1956; 1959; 1963–1966; 1967), Minister of Social Work (1956–1963), interim Minister of Education, Arts, and Sciences (1961–1962; 1963), and Minister of Culture, Recreation, and Social Work (1966–1971). She was the first female government minister in the Netherlands in 1956. She was responsible for the Social Security Bill in 1963.[1]


Margaretha Albertina Maria Klompé was born on 16 August 1912 in Arnhem in the Netherlands into a Catholic family of five children. Her father was the Dutch J. P. M. Klompé, who owned a stationery shop and her mother was the German-born A. M. J. A. Verdang.

Klompé attended the Utrecht University where she studied chemistry from 1929 till 1937. During these years, and as a result of her studies, Klompé started to question several aspects of religion and in particular the institute itself. Following this crisis, Klompé's commitment to religion was reinforced which she combined with an open mind.

Klompé obtained a PhD in mathematics and physics (1941) and went on to teach chemistry and physics in the Mater Dei High School for girls between 1932 and 1949 in Nijmegen.

In 1942, Klompé also started to study medicine at the University of Utrecht, but when the Second World War broke out the university was closed. During the war years, Klompé was active in the Dutch underground resistance as a messenger.

Marga Klompé in 1970

After the war, Klompé started to focus on politics, which was rather unusual for a woman at the time. In 1948, she entered the House of Representatives and by 1956 she became the first female secretary of the Netherlands focusing on Social Affairs. Her main contribution was the passing of the Social Security Bill in 1963, which replaced the previous Poverty Bill.

Klompé was also a member of several national and international associations, such as the Council of Europe and the Joint Task Force for European Cooperation in Development.

In addition, Klompé was involved in the Catholic community. She was a member of the national council for the Bishops' Conference, member of the Papal Commission 'Justitia et Pax', and also founded the union of Roman Catholic female graduates.

Furthermore, Klompé supported the underprivileged in society. Therefore, her critics called her 'Our Lady of Perpetual Succour'.

Klompé died on 28 October 1986 in The Hague.


  1. (Dutch) Dr. M.A.M. (Marga) Klompé, Parlement & Politiek. Retrieved on 7 March 2015.

Media related to Marga Klompé at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Frans-Jozef van Thiel
Minister of Social Work
Succeeded by
Jo Schouwenaar-Franssen
Preceded by
Jo Cals
Minister of Education, Arts, and Sciences (ad interim)
Succeeded by
Jo Cals
Preceded by
Maarten Vrolijk
Minister of Culture, Recreation, and Social Work
Succeeded by
Piet Engels
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