8 January 2004
BRUSSELS – Francophone Green Party, Ecolo, have attacked a proposal by Belgian senators to ban religious dress in public schools by the end of the year.
“Ecolo is against the veil when it is used as an instrument of domination or to heighten gender inequality, but banning it by law will only serve to isolate young women,” said party leader Evelyne Huytenbroek.
Socialist Anne-Marie Lizin, and Liberal Alain Destexhe, submitted a proposal Monday for the banning of all ostentatious religious dress, including the Islamic headscarf, in the school environment.
Arguing that ostentatious religious iconography works against gender equality in the school environment, Lizin and Destexhe said the law would “protect minors and favour emancipation.”
The Greens said the best environment in which to foster socialisation and integration is at school.
They said a higher priority than a headscaf ban was to tackle problems of inaccessibility of higher education, overpopulated classrooms, and problems surrounding positive discrimination.
Lizin and Destexhe will be lodging their proposal at the Senate for review.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Belgian news