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Belgium still not officially recognising violence towards women, organisations say

Illustration picture shows the Manneken Pis statue in a special costume on the occasion of the National Feminist Manifestation on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Sunday 25 November 2018 in Brussels. BELGA PHOTO OPHELIE DELAROUZEE
13:49 16/11/2020

As the United Nations announces the 2020 launch of its global campaign to shine a light on the prevalence of violence towards women in the world, Belgian organisations are taking the opportunity to pressure the country’s government to finally officially recognise violence against women as a crime.

The UN global campaign "Orange the World" will take place this month, raising awareness of violence against women. It will run for 16 days from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. On the launch day, iconic buildings around the world will be lit up in orange, the colour symbolising a brighter future, one free of violence.

Soroptimist International Belgium, one of 56 Belgian organisations taking part in Orange the World, will organise the dissemination of information surrounding the campaign and spread awareness "so that the Belgian government finally decides to implement the Istanbul Convention, which it ratified on 14 March 2016," the organisation’s statement said.

Soroptimist International Belgium calls for an annual census of all violence against women "in order to develop reliable statistics and adequate and effective public policies". It also calls for "an amendment to the existing legislative framework so that crimes against women are included in the penal code and recognised as gender-based crimes."

Written by Nick Amies