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Brussels collective W100 protest for more inclusive and female-friendly public spaces

W100 collective protest in brussels on Saturday 24 June
16:31 21/06/2023

The Brussels women’s network W100 is demonstrating in the capital under the banner Loud, Proud & Visible on 24 June.

Gathering at Place Albertine (Mont des Arts) from 14.00, the protestors – dressed in purple – will be calling for more inclusive and female-friendly public spaces.

The action in the city-centre is designed to draw attention to the ongoing problem of gender and sexual violence affecting women and girls in Brussels.

"Brussels' public places are not designed by women or with women's needs in mind. Nine in 10 girls and women report being sexually harassed. Femicide occurs in public, in the middle of the day! Saturday's action will provide more details about these crucial matters, when Women100 gathers to demand and celebrate our rights," says Karen Hoehn, co-founder and board member of W100.

On a lighter note, it’s also intended to be a day of joy that includes music and dancing as well as speeches by organisers.

W100 is calling on regional public authorities to introduce the following policies:

  • Use gender budgeting and gender-transformative approaches when planning any public space intervention, in particular regarding investments in public safety and economic development of public spaces that assure women’s participation and entrepreneurship
  • Involve feminist and women’s grassroots organisaton and civil society in decision-making about public spaces
  • Take into account specific needs of women and girls from vulnerable groups such as migrant women, racialised women, women with disabilities, solo mothers or LBTI women, applying intersectional perspective in all policies
  • Develop and implement strong prevention and protection policies to stop sexual and gender-based violence in public spaces
  • Invest in awareness raising campaigns, education and other measures aimed at changing sexist attitudes and behaviours in order to create public spaces free from gender-based violence

The W100 network is a community of 100 diverse women from all corners of the Brussels region who aim to claim back space for women. Founded in 2019, it has staged numerous initiatives, including a picnic in the streets and an action in the Brussels parliament in 2022.

Photos: ©United Nations

Written by The Bulletin