4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies
According to the Decree of 15 July 1997 on the Introduction of a more Balanced Representation of Men and Women in Advisory Councils, a maximum of two thirds of the members of the Flemish advisory bodies may be of the same sex.
Gender equality is part of a broader equal opportunities policy, including a Flemish Policy Plan for Equal Rights. The Cell Equal Opportunities is an administrative unit created since 1 January 1996 which now belongs to the Flemish Services for the General Government Policy.
A specific equal opportunity policy for men and women is in place to protect women's rights and to support projects working in this area. However, there is no particular provision for the tangible achievement of equal representation and equal access to the various forms of support. It should be emphasised that the sectors that are especially preoccupied by issues of cultural democracy, such as continuing education and youth, subsidise associations whose principal objectives include either equality between men and women or the enhancement of issues and interests of a particularly feminine or feminist nature.
The Decree of 3 May 2004 to promote the balanced representation of men and women in consultative committees governs the relative numbers of each sex sitting on councils, commissions, committees and in other statutory bodies that are consulted by the government or its ministers.
The Decree provides that:
The rules affect the following bodies, amongst others: