Implementation of central concepts

AuthorNathalie Wuiame
3 Implementation of central concepts
3.1 General (legal) context
3.1.1 Surveys on the definition, implem entation and limits of central concepts of gender
equality law
A report drafted in 2016 on the implementation of the Gender Act was published by the
Institute for the Equality of Women and Men in 2018.2 The report was part of a
comprehensive evaluation of the three discrimination laws adopted in 2007 as required by
the laws themselves,3 which also r equire an independent evaluation of the fight against
discrimination led by a specific commission.4
The 2016 evaluation questioned the effect of the different acts on the actors and their
behaviours: do th e acts contribute to ensuring respect of the principle of non-
discrimination and do they guarantee better protection against discrimination for
A common feature emerging from the two evaluation reports is that this set of laws
represents a major step forward in the fight against discrimination through the adoption
of protection mechanisms (such as ‘l’action en cessation legal application for an
injunction). Equally, such laws are in themselves important in signalling that discrimination
should be erased from our practices (pedagogical role). However, women in particular are
still facing discrimination in various forms and although the number of complaints to and
requests for information from the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men is
continuously increasing, those represent only the top of the iceberg.
Specific examples of difficulties highlighted in the evaluations will be further considered in
this report under r elevant headings. It should be noted though that both reports p oint to
the absence of implementing royal decrees (i.e. exceptions to allow services or goods
provided only to same-sex persons) and to the difficulties generated by this absence (legal
uncertainty in particular). The difficulty in tackling multiple discrimination (or
intersectionality) within the current legal framework is also a concern.
3.1.2 Other issues
Nothing to report.
3.1.3 General overview of national acts
- Act of 10 May 2007 aimed at combating discrimination between w omen and men,
usually known as the Gender Act;
- Working Conditions Act of 16 March 1971 providing measures relating to maternity
- Well-Being at Work Act of 4 August 1996;
- Act of 22 April 2012 aimed at combating the pay gap between men an d women, as
amended by the Act of 12 July 2013;
2 Institute for the Equality of Women and Men (2018), Appraisal of the implementation and effectiveness of
the gender law, (Etat des lieux sur l’application et l’effectivité de la loi genre), available at https://igvm-
3 Article 52 of the Discrimination Act provides that an evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of
the three antidiscrimination laws should be performed every five years.
4 Evaluation Commission of the federal law aiming at fighting discrimination (2017), First evaluation report,
February 2017 (Commission d’évaluation de la législation fédérale relative à la lutte contre les
discriminations, Premier rapport d’évaluation), report available at:

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