The Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB) parliament has approved a draft order Friday morning aiming to counter violence against women more effectively. In Belgium, more than one in four women have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence on the part of a partner or ex-partner. Nearly 98% have experienced sexual harassment in a public space, and 18 rapes are committed every day in Wallonia, according to various studies.
The draft order envisages the creation of a coordination committee for the fight against violence towards women. Made up of eighteen members, it will be tasked with elaborating a five-year plan to prevent and counter the violence.
The order also guarantees the sustainable funding of grassroots associations. At least five groups of organizations will be created and recognised for a period of five years. These will be responsible for implementing the action plan .
They will notably approach the question of preventative measures with regard to sexual equality and the fight against sexism, the issue of children exposed to violence, sexual violence, female genital mutilation as well as forced marriages and violence linked to family honour. Each collective will benefit from annual public funding of at least 75,000 euros.
The new order seeks to bring the Federation in line with the recommendations of the Council of Europe convention relating to the prevention of and struggle sgainst violence towards women adopted in 2011. It came into force in Belgium in 2016.
The order was approved by majority party PS-cdH, supported by opposition parties Ecolo, DéFI and PTB. Opposition parties MR and Listes Destexhe abstained.
The Brussels Times