March through Brussels planned for International Women's Day
A demonstration in Brussels is being organised for 8 March, which is International Women’s Day.
Demonstrators plan to gather at 18.00 on Wednesday at Place de l'Albertine, where they will march for "a feminist, sustainable economy, concerned with the wellbeing of all".
A number of other actions will take place, as well, including the fifth consecutive feminist strike and smaller actions from multiple trade unions.
There will also be a "feminist village" erected near Brussels Central station from around 13.30 on Wednesday.
The theme of this year’s actions is more economically focused, with the global network 'World March of Women' explaining that economic violence affects women particularly in this current period of energy and purchasing power crisis.
“Women find themselves economically dependent on their partners and in a precarious situation (due to) state economic policies,” the organisation stated.
It is calling for measures that tackle the energy crisis to include a gender dimension in order to ensure women benefit equally. It is also asking for public funding mechanisms that are "sufficient and sustainable".
The World March of Women describes itself as a "feminist, anti-capitalist movement struggling against all forms of inequality and discrimination that we suffer as women".
“Our values and actions are directed at making political, economic, social and cultural stereotypes change,” the organisation explains.
“We centre on the globalisation of solidarity; equality between women and men, among women themselves and between peoples; the respect and recognition of diversity among women; the multiplicity of our strategies; the appreciation of women’s leadership; and the strength of alliances among women and with other progressive social movements.”
Belgium’s demonstration is also calling for more funding "for quality public services" and more childcare services, as Brussels in particular struggles with a shortage of daycare workers and Flanders grapples with recent abuse scandals.
Other demands of this year’s World March of Women include an increase of the minimum wage to €14 gross per hour, the decriminalisation of abortion worldwide, the end of rape culture, the right of migrant women to work and international feminist solidarity.
Last year’s march drew some 5,000 people to the Belgian capital.
This year, protestors are hoping to also align themselves in solidarity with feminist movements currently taking place in Iran, Afghanistan, Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo.