In less than three years, 102 women were killed in Belgium. The Vrouwenraad (Women’s council) — Flemish counterpart of Belgium’s Council of French-Speaking Women — demands that femicide is considered as a specific crime by the law.
“Femicide kills more people than terrorism,” the Association argued on Monday in De Morgen.
Last year, 24 cases of femicide were reported, with many cases often due to domestic violence, which is a sign that there is a problem.
“Whenever something like that happens or a spectacular murder is publicized, there is a lot of talk about it, but this indignation leads nowhere,” Vrouwenraad’s President Magda De Meyer lamented. “If we observe that femicide causes more victims than terrorism does, why is it not a priority on the agenda?”
The Stop Femicide blog points out that there are not any official statistics. Many believe that this must change.
Minister for Equal Opportunities, Nathalie Muylle (CD&V, Flemish Christian Democrats), admits that the current data is insufficient. “We are working ultimately on figures from 10 to 20 years ago,” she acknowledges. “We cannot conduct policy on that basis.”
However, the Minister is not really in favour of including femicide as a separate crime in legislation. “I do not like symbols. I’d rather have concrete action on the ground,” she said.