First person convicted under new sexism laws in Belgium

First person convicted under new sexism laws in Belgium

The man made offensive comments towards a female police officer

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The first person has been convicted under new sexism laws in Belgium.

The man made offensive comments towards a police officer based on her gender, after he was stopped for jaywalking in 2016, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

A spokesperson for the public prosecutor's office claimed the man said: "shut your mouth, I don't talk to women, being a police officer is not a job for women."

Gilles Blondeau said "the case was easy to prosecute" because of there being "several bystanders serving as witnesses."

Before the comment he is said to have run away from the police leading to a chase through an annual fair in Zaventem.

The female police officer arrested the man, however there were other police officers at the scene as well who did not receive abuse from the man.

The man has been handed a fine of €3,000 (£2,670), despite the fact that he was not in court. If he does not pay he could be handed a prison sentence, according to officials, although he is entitled to appeal against the fine.

Belgium introduced its "sexism in a public place" ruling  in 2014 and this was added to discrimination law.

It means anyone expressing "contempt" either in a statement or act which shows they think another person is inferior because of their gender or describes them in only a "sexual dimension" can be prosecuted.

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