On the 8 March it is International Women’s Day, and this year Queen Mathilde of Belgium will mark the day. She’ll meet with women working in diverse sectors in the province of Oost-Vlaanderen.
Even though International Women’s Day is on Thursday, the Queen of the Belgians will mark the day on Wednesday. An official reason for this fact has not been given, but it might have something to do with the upcoming State Visit to Canada which takes place from the 11-17 of March.
Queen Mathilde will meet with several women who are active in different sectors in the Province of Oost-Vlaanderen, Flanders. According to the Belgian Royal Court, International Women’s Day “is a special occasion for the Queen to exchange thoughts about the status of women in our society.” Queen Mathilde also wants to learn more about the challenges and expectations women are confronted with nowadays. The meeting will take place in the home of the governor of the Province of Oost-Vlaanderen.
It is not the first time Queen Mathilde takes the time to talk about gender equality. Last year Queen Mathilde and King Philippe received the laureates of “Women of Peace”, a platform for women who fight for women’s rights. In 2016 Queen Mathilde also met with women of different sectors but then in the province of West-Vlaanderen, Flanders. In 2014 she did the same but in the province of Antwerp.
Queen Mathilde has been working on gender equality and women empowerment for many years. It is one of the topics the Queen feels passionate about and has given several speeches on. In 2015, she gave her first interview since becoming Queen. In that interview, she said: “Violence against girls and women has to stop. We must not turn a blind eye.”
Recently Queen Mathilde also met with a childbride on her trip to Ghana. She commented that it was one of the most difficult meetings she has ever had. She said about the meeting: “When I see such girls, I feel like I want to help them, that it has to stop.” Last year on a State Visit to India, the Queen also hosted a lunch to talk with several Indian women about women empowerment.