The Belgian constitution has explicitly affirmed the principle of equality between women and men since 2002, thanks to an amendment to Article 10. However, Belgium has a long experience in gender mainstreaming, mainly inspired by the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995.
Federal level: In Belgium, the main organisation for gender equality and gender mainstreaming at the federal level is the federal Institute for the Equality of Women and Men (IEWM). The IEWM was established in 2002 as a semi-independent body that is administratively speaking under ministerial control but autonomous in terms of legal action or the provision of advice to government and other public authorities.
Laws and Policies
At the federal level, Belgium adopted three anti-discrimination acts in 2007: the General Anti-Discrimination Federal Act, the Racial Equality Federal Act, and the Gender Act. The latter fights discrimination between women and men and relates to sex and assimilated areas, i.e. maternity, pregnancy and transgender issues. In addition to these laws a Gender Mainstreaming Law was adopted in 2007. It transposes the resolutions of the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, with the aim of integrating gender in all federal policy fields.
Methods & Tools
The federal Gender-Mainstreaming Law of 2007 and the Royal Decree of 2010, impose different tools to stimulate the integration of the gender perspective: