The Equal Opportunities Unit of the City of Brussels fights against discriminations of: the LGBTQI+ community, persons with disabilities, women and Brussels of foreign origin. It also gives subsidies to associations in the field of equal opportunities.
In Belgium it is illegal to discriminate a person because of his or her sexual orientation. In June 2003, Belgium became the 2nd country of the world, after the Netherlands, to authorize the marriage between homosexuals. Since 2004, the homosexual marriage is also allowed between a Belgian and a person of foreign origin.
LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council
The City of Brussels supports the External site Rainbow House, a house open to every lesbian, bisexual and gay Brussels. The City of Brussels works in association with the lesbian, bisexual and gay community to set up a 'lesbian, bisexual and gay policy' for the City of Brussels.
Since 2001, the City of Brussels supports actively the Pride Festival. During this festival, several activities are organized by various associations on the subject of the homosexuality.
Together with the External site Rainbow House, the Police and the External site Centre for Equal Opportunities, the City of Brussels wants to end violence towards homosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals. This is done via an informative leaflet, by informing and training policemen, by working with the local youth clubs,...
World AIDS Day
Furthermore, the City of Brussels participates annually in the International Day of Fight against AIDS (1 December), in association with the External site Platform for AIDS Prevention.
"Refuge Bruxelles" provides temporary accommodation and comprehensive care (social, legal, administrative and medical) to LGBT+ youth rejected by their families. This service targets young people aged 18 to 25 in the Brussels Region:
Report a crime?
The LGBTQI+ hotline on the website of the Brussels-Capital-Ixelles police zone will put you in direct contact with the Victim Support Service to report a crime. In an emergency, call 112 or use the 112 app. More info:
Brussels wants to be a society with equal chances for women as well. The City of Brussels acts against the discrimination against women at 3 levels: by assuring the equality of opportunity within its staff, by collaborating with associations, by organizing events.
Within the staff of the City
The City of Brussels decided to take measures within its own administration in order to give women the same chances:
- A reliable person indicated to collect the complaints of harassment and sexual intimidation
- A person working within the HR department is asked to reveal measures hurting women
- The system of promotion was revised to avoid obligations susceptible to hurt women (an evening class for example)
- Juries consist of women and men
The City works in association with feminine associations. They can obtain subsidies to organize actions on the Brussels territory.
The City of Brussels organizes the Women's Week. This event aims at informing the population of the various forms of violence against women, at making people sensitive and at bringing everybody to think about the actions to be led locally against this discrimination.
The City of Brussels tries to create the necessary conditions for all Brussels, whether they are Belgian or foreign, to have equal access to their rights and to all public services.
Brussels Council for Cultural Diversity
In the context of the 'World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development', the City of Brussels, a cosmopolitan and multicultural city of 183 nationalities, is committed to the objectives of this day: to know and recognise our differences, to respect and appreciate what we owe to other cultures, to appreciate the diversity of their contributions, their uniqueness, their complementarity and their solidarity. Promoting the richness of cultural diversity means fighting stereotypes and loss of identity.
Created in 2007, this intercultural neighbourhood festival with an urban identity is supported by the Alderman or Alderwoman for Equal Opportunities with the support of the Brussels Council for Cultural Diversity.
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March)
To mark this day, the City of Brussels is organising a competition to design a poster on the theme of racial discrimination. The competition is open to all students enrolled in an art school of the City of Brussels: Institut Bischoffsheim, Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts (secondary school), Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts (high school), Haute Ecole Francisco Ferrer, Académie des arts and the 'Hoofdstedelijke Kunstacademie Brussel'.
The aim of the project is to modernise the visual narrative of racial discrimination. The winning project is an integral part of the awareness campaign distributed on the City's social networks and billboards, as well as in all schools and libraries of the City of Brussels, in the two weeks around 21 March.
Posters #stopracism 2023 (PDF, 10.61 MB)
International Roma Day (8 April)
Together with the Belgian-Romanian Cultural House - Arthis, the City of Brussels is organising an event to celebrate Roma and raise awareness of their problems.
The City grants annual subsidies to non-profit associations (asbl-vzw) active in the field of equal opportunities. Five calls for projects are launched each year according to the calendar below. Each call for projects is framed by rules and an application form. These documents are available during the opening period of the call for projects.
Call for projects
Launch - Closure
Projects proposed within the DiverCity event being held on 13 May 2023 at the Place de la Monnaie.
1 February 2023 - 15 March 2023
Projects within the 4 areas of equal opportunities.
15 February 2023 - 15 April 2023
Projects within the Disability Week organised by the City of Brussels around 3 December 2023.
1 May 2023 - 30 June 2023
Projects within the 4 areas of equal opportunities.
1 July 2023 - 30 September 2023
Women's Rights Week
Projects within the Women's Rights Week organised by the City of Brussels around 8 March 2024.
1 October 2023 - 30 November 2023