Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy. Belgian Development Cooperation regards gender equality as a transversal topic and is determined to speed up progress in this domain by supporting its partners’ efforts to make tangible headway, in keeping with their international commitments and their development strategies and policies. To this end, the strategy adopted by Belgian Development Cooperation takes gender equality on board in its policies, strategies and actions – this being a gradual, long-term approach – and also finances specific actions designed to fight discrimination against women, guarantee them access to opportunities for development and safeguard their rights. Our attention is focused on three key domains:
-the application of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, adopted in 2000, on “women, peace and security”, including attempts to combat sexual violence against women; -education for girls and training for women (literacy, vocational training); -the economic empowerment of women.
The Commission on Women and Development is a consultative body that advises the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation on matters relating to gender equality. It was created by the Royal Decree of 14 December 1993, which was amended on 3 June 2007.
Belgium also became an OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) member country in 13 September 1961. Policy lessons to improve gender equality in education OECD countries: - Encourage parents and teachers to raise self-confidence and motivation among girls to pursue interests in science and mathematics. - Gear curricula, teaching material and training policies to avoiding gender stereo-typing, and encourage girls to engage in STEM-studies. - A better balance in the gender composition of teachers and the endorsement of female role models in professions typically dominated by men might also contribute to this objective. - Support research to further explore which factors shape gender differences in the choice of field of study. In the past few decades, women have been entering the labour force in greater numbers and have been staying employed longer over their life course. Increased educational attainment rates amongst women have contributed to greater employment rates, better earnings and career progression in many OECD and non-OECD countries as well. Nowadays, in OECD countries new female entrants in the labour market have comparable and often higher education than their male counterparts.
1975 brought about the “UN Declaration of the Decade of Women”. Henceforth, women and gender issues were given importance and attention, with bodies such as the Commission of Status of Women, UNDP and other NGOs working diligently to bridge the gender gap. The UNDP produced the Human Development Report in 1995 to highlight the gap between men and women. The Millennium Development Goals were established in 2000, following a summit, which lists 8 goals to be achieved by 2015. These goals were to encourage development and socio-economic conditions throughout the world. Goals number 2 and 3 were targeted towards women as it aimed to increased literacy and gender equality while empowering women.
(What I encourage delegates to do is distinguish between education and literacy; both are equally important but may be different in terms of discussion. Think about literacy in terms of academics, but education in terms of awareness of rights, health, etc.)
Gender Mainstreaming: A new...