International Women’s Rights Day

March 8 marks International Women's Rights Day. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Philippe Goffin, assures that Belgium continues to be actively involved worldwide for the protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls. On Friday, March 6, Minister Goffin reaffirmed this commitment by organising an event at the Egmont Palace entitled "The Ambassadors of Belgian Diversity", which highlights the importance of women's rights and diversity to a diverse audience of representatives from government, parliament, civil society, the private sector and some 50 ambassadors accredited in Brussels.

At the invitation of Minister Goffin, four panel members will highlight their experiences as successful women in the field of immigration. The positive contribution of women and diversity to Belgian society is also on the agenda. The guest speakers are Ms Chouna Lomponda, founder of Success DiverStory vzw, Ms Sareh Jalilian, educational collaborator and regional manager of Federatie Wereldvrouwen vzw, Ms Fatima Zibouh, coordinator and inclusion expert at Actiris, and Ms Yasmien Naciri, entrepreneur, strategic communication advisor and author.

The year 2020 is another important year for women's rights as it marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. It is a global programme of concrete actions agreed by states in 1995 to promote the rights of women and girls in 12 areas: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, the economy, decision-making, institutional mechanisms, women's human rights, media, environment and girls. On the occasion of this symbolic anniversary, a political declaration will be adopted by all members of the United Nations on March 9 in New York. Belgium continues to be a strong defender of the rights of women and girls, particularly with regard to sexual and reproductive health and rights, the fight against discrimination and violence against women and girls, and the important role of civil society.

Within the United Nations Security Council, of which Belgium has been an elected member since 2019, our country also holds the human rights of women and girls in high esteem. Indeed, 2020 also marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. This resolution stresses the importance of gender mainstreaming in peace and security processes. Belgium systematically advocates to the Security Council for the most concrete possible integration of the gender dimension into the Council's country- and region-specific initiatives.