Naming more transport stations after women is an “excellent” way to make public spaces in Brussels more representative of women, the regional mobility minister said.
Minister Elke Van den Brandt expressed support for a proposal put forward by MP Leila Agic, who said plans to expand the regional transport network should aim to improve women’s visibility in urban spaces.
Van den Brandt said Agic’s proposal was an “excellent idea” which would be taken into account in the planned creation of a new metro line which will connect the northern and southern ends of Brussels, Bruzz reports.
Agic, who is also a Molenbeek municipal councillor, said it was “important” to make room for women in public areas, noting that it was “mainly men who get the final say when it comes to designing the public space.”
“We will seize the occasion of the creation of new metro and bus lines to improve women’s visibility in the public space,” Van den Brandt said, referring to the at least seven new metro stops set to be created for the new line, La Capitale reports.
Works for the new metro line are ongoing and scheduled to be finalised in 2028, after the end of the current legislature.
As she made her proposal, Agic put forward a few ideas for the names of the new metro stations, among which figured both Belgian and international candidates, such as American civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
“Why not someone like Augusta Chiwy, the ‘forgotten angel of Bastogne’?” Agic said, referring to a Belgian nurse who provided volunteer aid and care to injured Wolrd War II soldiers during the Siege of Bastogne as well as during the Battle of the Bulge.
A large majority of the 59 stations making up Brussels’ metro network are named after men —ranging from former prime ministers to singers and foreign leaders—, with an additional number named after places and rivers or small courses of water.
Metro stations Louise, Stephanie and Joséphine-Charlotte are some of the few stations who take their name after women, all three of whom were former Belgian princesses.
The Brussels Times