Belgium // Methods and 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:

  • the ‘gender test’, obligatory as a component of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) since 2014, imposes a gender screening for all legislative or regulatory proposals that are presented to the Council of Ministers. A manual has been developed to assist in completing the RIA and several training sessions have been given.;
  • a method for gender-responsive budgeting, detailed in a specific circular letter on gender budgeting from 2010, obliges the Federal Public Services to analyse the gender perspective of their budgetary allocations and to identify activities and related budgets aimed at promoting equality between women and men.. A number of instruments, such as awareness-raising sessions, training, a checklist, a manual and a mention of gender budgeting in the annual ministerial budget circulars, support this process;
  • the Interdepartmental Coordination Group, composed of representatives from each ministerial cabinet, federal public service, programmatory public service and the Ministry of Defence, as well as representatives of the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men (IEWM) and charged with preparing the federal plan on gender mainstreaming and the reports to the Parliament;
  • the Federal plan on gender mainstreaming, elaborated at the beginning of each period of office of a new government and containing the commitments of that government for the duration of their mandate. The first plan was adopted in 2012 and the second one in 2015;
  • the Reports to the Parliament that have to be submitted halfway through and at the end of the period of office and that report amongst others on the achievements concerning the implementation of the Gender-Mainstreaming Law and the Federal plan gender mainstreaming;

The IEWM also developed a ‘Manual on the application of gender mainstreaming within the Belgian federal administration’, has an extensive component on gender mainstreaming on its website and has provided funds for trainings on gender mainstreaming in several administrations.

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