Brussels (Brussels Morning) Between 5,000 and 8,000 people were present on Sunday afternoon in Brussels to raise awareness towards violence against women, according to the organizer of the event.
Since 2017, each year at the end of November, such a national event has been organized in an effort to minimize gender age and urge the public authorities to fully assume their responsibilities in the fight towards violence against women.
The Mirabal Belgium platform, which brings together various feminist associations, called for demonstrations this Saturday, at the Mont des Arts in Brussels, raising violence specifically directed against women. Dozens of feminist affiliations and civil society organisations took part in the demonstration.
From 12 PM until 5 PM., stands from various associations were set up on-site to inform citizens about the current situation of this particular phenomenon of violence, and to discuss solutions, aid and reform projects. At 1 PM, a walk started from Mont des Arts, for a 5 km loop through the city.
“The most important thing is, above all, what we do all year round to maintain the pressure on the political powers and reverse the balance of power”, commented Céline Caudron, national coordinator of the Vie Féminine network.
On Friday, the Secretary of State for Gender Equality, Sarah Schlitz, launched her national action plan on gender-based violence, with the goal of “zero femicides”. The plan includes over 200 measures and requires participation from all levels of government throughout Belgium. It aims to work on the principles of prevention, protection and prosecution to reduce the cases of domestic violence in Belgium.
For Céline Caudron, this plan is significant. “It is coherent, but there is no budget line and it is a problem”, she lamented, however.
Several participants in the demonstration commented that their annual demonstration has led to a significant impact on the new policies but things are not going fast enough. Their demonstration was particularly aimed towards women in Belgium who continue to be a victim of domestic violence and who are not aware of their rights.