Institute for the Equality of Women and Men

Overview:

The mission of the Belgian Institute for the Equality of Women and Men is to guarantee and promote the equality of women and men and to fight against any form of discrimination and inequality based on gender in all aspects of life through the development and implementation of an adequate legal framework, appropriate structures, strategies, instruments and actions.

Brief history

Date established: 2002
Mode of establishment: Law of 16 December 2002 creating the Institute for the equality of women and men
Status: Autonomous institution of public law
Competences and responsibilities:

The Institute for the equality of women and men 
1.undertake, develop, support and co-ordinate studies and research in the field of gender and equality of women and men as well as to assess the impact in terms of gender, of policies, programmes and measures;
2.address recommendations to the public authorities with a view to improving the relevant laws and regulations;
3.address recommendations to the public authorities as well as to individuals and private institutions on the basis of the results of the studies and research described under point 1;
4.organise the support offered to associations working in the field of equality between women and men, or projects aiming at achieving equality between women and men;
5.help, within the limits of its goal, any person requesting advice on the scope of his/her rights and obligations. This assistance enables its beneficiary to obtain information and advice on the possible ways to have his/her rights enforced;
6.take legal action in the case of disputes resulting from the application of criminal and other laws, specifically aimed at guaranteeing the equality of women and men;
7.draft and provide any information, documents and archives that might be useful within the limits of its mission;
8.without any possibility of identifying the parties, statistics and jurisdictional decisions that might be useful to assess the laws and regulations relating to gender equality gather and issue;
9.ask the competent authorities, when the Institute evokes facts that give reason to presume the existence of discriminatory treatment as provided by the laws and regulations relating to the equality of women and men, to gather information and to inform the latter of the result of the analysis of the facts in question;
10.to set up a network with the various key players in the field of gender equality.

Mandate Type

Predominantly promotion-type and legal support body

Litigation power:

  • Representing in front of courts
  • Bringing proceedings in own name
  • Intervening before the court
  • Amicus Curiae

Activities

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)
Recommendations on discrimination issues
Publications and reports
Research projects (including surveys)

Our institution has a mandate to deal with:

  • Violence against women
  • Hate crime
  • Hate speech

Other statistics:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)221301365323366463549736
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)130191226222209214318295
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media147429323283319555455395

Management

  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)

Management details

The Management Board is responsible for determining the general policy of the Institute, on the basis of proposals made by the Direction. It has the ability to give an opinion on the draft management plan and operational plan. The Direction is responsible for implementing the decisions of the Management Board. The Direction ensures the daily management of the Institute. It defines a 6-year management plan with strategic and operational targets.

Additional details

The Institute is divided in several cells. On one side, cells responsible of gender equality administration (e.g. : international policies, fight against violence), other dealing with the missions of the Equality body.

 

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

Direction (mandate 6 years renewable) nominated by the Minister of Equal opportunities
Board appointed by Royal Decree (proposal of Minister of Equal opportunities approved by Council of Ministers)

Number of staff dealing with equality issues

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
37.837.832.434.932.933.937.335

Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body

Grounds / Fields Employment Education Housing Social Protection & Healthcare Goods and Services Other
Gender
Gender Identity
Race and Ethnic Origin
Age
Disability
Sexual Orientation
Religion & Belief

Mandate covers:

  • Public sector
  • Private sector

Operating budget in euros

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
5253916520913152023985335563538664453515776576342

Operating budget in euros for the parts of the organisation dealing with equality issues (all types of functions)

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
5253916520913152023985335563538664453515776576342

We are accountable to

  • National Parliament
  • Head of State
  • National Ministry
  • National audit institution (i.e. for financial reporting)
  • Governements departments, senate