Over 10,000 people are demonstrating against sexism and violence against women in the centre of Brussels on Sunday afternoon.
The demonstrators want to see more attention for the prevention and assistance for victims, but also perpetrators. At the beginning of the demonstration, the names of women who were murdered in Belgium this year were called.
The demonstration started at the Carrefour de l'Europe, as a part of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Monday.
In 2019, the organisation Stop Féminicide counted 21 women in Belgium who were murdered for no reason other than that they were women. Since 2017, there have been 99 murders like this. However, there are no official figures, meaning the total number is probably higher, according to them, reports De Standaard.
Along the route of the demonstration, pairs of red shoes were positioned, each pair a symbol for one of the killed women. The demonstrators call for the implementation of the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe text that was ratified by Belgium in 2016. The text commits the different levels of government to taking coordinated action to prevent violence against women, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators. However, the Convention is hardly being implemented.
"We demand a real political debate and a coherent strategy to combat all forms of violence against women," they said, reports VRT NWS. "A real policy of prevention and better reception and care for all victims and their children. We want to see an increase in resources for all the organisations that fight day after day against violence against women," they added.
The Brussels Times