Belgium will focus on combatting sexism in the public space, both in real life and online over the next few months, the interministerial conference for women’s rights decided on Monday.
The last Women’s Rights conference chaired by the Brussels Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities, Nawal Ben Hamou, took place this Monday.
She handed over the torch to the Walloon Minister for Women’s Rights, Christie Morreale, and the Vice-Minister-President of the Government of the German-speaking Community, Antonios Antoniadis, who will jointly chair the meeting until 18 October 2021.
During this period, three major points will be discussed, including the fight against sexism in the real and virtual public space.
“Being stopped in the street, wistled at, insulted, threatened, followed,… are so many expressions of harassment in the real public space that every woman, regardless of age, social class, origin, dress or make-up, has faced in her life,” they stressed.
“It is important to fight against the trivialisation of such acts. Women must also feel supported when they are victims.”
Belgium’s federal and federated entities will also work to evaluate the law on sexism to ensure that the fight is approached on all levels, from prevention to repression, according to Morreale.
The development of a coordinated fight against so-called period poverty will also be a priority, the authorities stressed.
“This essential issue requires a coordinated and integrated response between all the competent entities on our territory, by evaluating the pilot projects carried out in this area,” Morreale said.
The conference will also work on a gender balance in all the professional sectors and trades of the future.
“Attention will also be paid to deconstructing the stereotypes linked to so-called typically female trades in order to attract more men,” said Antoniadis.
The next conference on Women’s Rights, in which the Minister of Pensions and Social Integration Karine Lalieux and Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden will also participate, is scheduled for early June.