Women’s rights should be a societal priority across all political parties and at every level of political power. Such is the joint call of six women all active in three major political groupings (the MR – Mouvement Réformateur, cdH – Centre Démocrate Humaniste and DéFI – Démocrate Fédéraliste Independente), who have written an open letter, published by the Sudpresse publications on Thursday.
In the letter, they call for massive change during the forthcoming elections. They call upon all parties and all candidates – both men and women – to defend women’s rights as a genuine priority, not simply as a campaign platform.
“We are committed to fighting on a daily basis to ensure that in the future being a woman is no longer ever synonymous with being of less value than a man.” Thus wrote Céline Frémault (a Brussels minister – cdH), Valérie De Bue (an MR Walloon minister), Cécile Jodogne (a DéFI secretary of state) and Marie-Christine Marghem (an MR federal minister). Sophie Rohonyi (the President of the peripheral DéFI standing committee) and Opaline Meunier (a cdH commune councillor also joined them in making the statement.
Female political analysts and politicians are still far rarer in the media, “limiting the opportunity for expressing views, values and the struggles faced by female politicians,” noted the elected representatives, themselves from across the political spectrum. “The worst part of all of this is the ‘omnipresence’ of male specialists in these spheres. That still enables such men to embody within the collective imagination their absolute competence and authority,” they said.
Specifically highlighting the daily statistics for rape in Belgium, all six women went further denouncing acts of violence against women.
The women clearly state that everyone must take collective responsibility for this catastrophic situation having arisen – whether politicians, the media and citizens. Everyone is responsible for all too often trivialising the plight of women in this regard. “We are all responsible for not making the fight to stamp out acts of violence against women in all their forms an absolute priority,” they further said.