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  • Slide 1
  • Institutions and Organisations Promoting Equal Opportunities in Belgium and Flanders RoSa Documentation Centre and Archives On Feminism, Equal Opportunities and Womens Studies
  • Slide 2
  • RoSa Documentation Centre 2 Table of contents Unit 1: Unit 1: Structures of the Belgian Equal Opportunities policy: IntroductionStructures of the Belgian Equal Opportunities policy: Introduction Double structure: Federal Regional 1974 1985 1991 1995 The United Nations Womens Conferences The United Nations Womens Conference in Beijing Unit 2: Unit 2: Schematic overview of the structure of the Equal Opportunities policySchematic overview of the structure of the Equal Opportunities policy Political structure Administrative structure Advisory structure Unit 3: Unit 3: Belgian and Flemish Equal Opportunity Institutions: a word of explanationBelgian and Flemish Equal Opportunity Institutions: a word of explanation Political institutions explained Belgium is a federal state Federal Level Executive Power Legislative Power Flemish Level Executive Power Legislative Power Administrative bodies explaind Federal Level Flemish Level Advisory bodies explained Federal Level Unit 4: Unit 4: The French Community The French Community
  • Slide 3
  • RoSa Documentation Centre 3 Unit 1: Structures of the Belgian Equal Opportunities policy: Introduction Double structure: Federal - Regional Due to the specific constitutional structure, equal opportunities policy in Belgium is executed both at the national or federal level and at the regional level: Federal: Belgium Regional: Flemish Community French Community We shall have a closer look at the federal and the Flemish structure The Equal Opportunities policy in Belgium has a double aim: Horizontally all sectors are stimulated to incorporate the equal opportunities policy mainstreaming) Vertically specific measures aim at advancing equal opportunities for women and men That double aim is particularly visible in the Flemish structure. Home
  • Slide 4
  • RoSa Documentation Centre 4 Unit 1: Structures of the Belgian Equal Opportunities policy: Introduction Equal Opportunities is a relatively young matter of policy in Belgium. Only in 1974 womens wishes were acknowledged for the first time with the creation of the federal Commission for Womens Labour. No doubt this was done in view of the International Womens Year of 1975. Other landmarks are: 1985 - 1991 - 1995 The next slides provide with more detailed information on those dates. Home
  • Slide 5
  • RoSa Documentation Centre 5 Unit 1: Structures of the Belgian Equal Opportunities policy: Introduction 1974Commission for Womens Labour: During the preparations for the United Nations International Womens Year (1975), the Belgian Commission for Womens Labour was established. It was an advisory body within the Ministry of Labour and Employment It proposed measures concerning womens labour, such as a bill regarding equal pay for male and female workers adoption leave short leave for illness of a child or other family problems maternity protection, parental leave etc. It was abolished in 1985 Home
  • Slide 6
  • RoSa Documentation Centre 6 Unit 1: Structures of the Belgian Equal Opportunities policy: Introduction 1985The first Belgian Secretary of State for Social Emancipation As a result of the United Nations Womens Conference, held in Nairobi the same year, the Belgian government installed a federal Secretary of State for Social Emancipation. This implies that Equal Opportunities was for the first time recognized as an official matter of policy. In 1986, a new Commission for Womens Labour was created within the Secretariat of State. Home
  • Slide 7
  • RoSa Documentation Centre 7 Unit 1: Structures of the Belgian Equal Opportunities policy: Introduction 1991Equal Opportunities becomes the competence of a federal Minister Still at the federal level, equal opportunities is no longer managed by a Secretary of State: it now becomes the competence of a federal Minister. This means an upgrading for equal opportunities as a matter of policy. Exactly which federal Minister gets Equal Opportunities is not fixed: it may vary according to the distribution of portfolios after every election: 1991: Minister for Employment and Labour 2002: Minister of Civil Service, Social Integration & Metropolitan Policy Home
  • Slide 8
  • RoSa Documentation Centre 8 Unit 1: Structures of the Belgian Equal Opportunities policy: Introduction 1995The first Flemish Minister for Equal Opportunities is appointed During the preparations of the United Nations Womens Conference in Beijing (1995), a Flemish Minister of Equal Opportunities is appointed; The Beijing Conference issued an important Platform of Action, calling upon Governments, the international community and civil society to take action in twelve critical areas of concern (see below) Home
  • Slide 9
  • RoSa Documentation Centre 9 Unit 1: Structures of the Belgian Equal Opportunities policy: Introduction The United Nations Womens Conferences In 1975 the UN drew global attention to women's concerns by calling for an International Women's year and convening the first conference on women in Mexico City. Another convention was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1980. In 1985, the UN convened a third conference on women in Nairobi, Kenya, to look at what had been achieved at the end of the decade. It was not a lot, but an important document was published: Forward-looking strategies for the Advancement of Women. In 1995, Beijing hosted the Fourth World Conference on Women. Representatives agreed that inequalities between women and men have serious consequences for the well-being of all people. The final document, called the "Platform for Action" said: "The advancement of women and the achievement of equality between women and men are a matter of human rights and a condition for social justice and should not be seen in isolation as a women's issue." Home
  • Slide 10
  • RoSa Documentation Centre 10 Unit 1: Structures of the Belgian Equal Opportunities policy: Introduction The Platform of Action, issued at the Beijing Womens conference, indicates 12 critical areas of concern: Poverty : the persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women Education and training: Inequalities and inadequacies in and unequal access to education and training Health care: Inequalities and inadequacies in and unequal access to health care and related services Violence: Violence against women Armed conflicts: The effects of armed or other kinds of conflict on women, including those living under foreign occupation Economic activity: Inequality in economic structures and policies, in all forms of productive activities and in access to resources Political power: Inequality between men and women in the sharing of power and decision-making at all levels Advancement of women: Insufficient mechanisms at all levels to promote the advancement of women Human rights: Lack of respect for and inadequate promotion and protection of the human rights of women Communication and media: Stereotyping of women and inequality in women's access to and participation in all communication systems, especially in the media Environment: Gender inequalities in the management of natural resources and in the safeguarding of the environment Rights of girl child: Persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of the girl child Home
  • Slide 11
  • RoSa Documentation Centre 11 Unit 2: Schematic overview of the structure of the Equal Opportunities policy Political structure Federal Executive Power Legislative Power Federal Executive Power Minister of Civil Service, Social Integration & Metropolitan Policy. Legislative Power Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunities for Women & Men of the Belgian Senate. Advisory Committee for the Social Emancipation of the Belgian Chamber of Deputies. Flemish Executive Power Flemish Executive Power Minister of Welfare, Health & Equal Opportunities. After the elections in June 2004 the equal Opportunities in Flanders will be positioned within the services of the Minister President. Legislative Power Legislative Power Working group Welfare, Health & Equal Opportunities of the Flemish Parliament. Administrative structure Federal Administrative Bodies Federal Administrative Bodies Institute for the Equality of Women and Men. Flemish Administrative Bodies Flemish Administrative Bodies Service Equal Opportunities in Flanders. Interdepartmental Commission for Equal Opportunities. Service for Emancipation Matters. Advisory structure Federal Advisory Bodies Federal Advisory Bodies Institute for the Equality of Women and Men Council of Equal Opportunities for Men & Women Flemish Advisory Bodies Flemish Advisory Bodies The Womens Consultative Committee (VOV) embedded in Flanders Social Economical Council (SERV) has been abolished recently Home
  • Slide 12
  • RoSa Documentation Centre 12 Unit 3: Belgian and Flemish Equal Opportunity Institutions: a word of explanation Political institutions explained Belgium is a federal state When Belgium was created in 1830, it was parliamentary monarchy with a written constitution. But it also was a unitary state. The constitutional revisions of 1970, 1980, 1988, 1993 and 2002 gave Belgium a federal structure. Each community and each district have their own directly elected assembly and their own government within the Belgian state. They all make their own laws (decrees) in a number of specific areas. Their large autonomy may cause conflicts of competence. Therefore the Court of Arbitration watches over the observance of competences. The Belgian

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