Press Release

Structural support for associations working around equality strengthened

The Institute for the equality of women and men has just completed the procedure for granting structural funding to associations working around protecting and strengthening women's rights.

The procedure for associations fighting racism and discrimination based on sexual orientation, the latter led by the Equal Opportunities Department within the FPS Justice, has also just been completed. This is the final stage in the political process initiated by the state secretary for Gender Equality, Equal Opportunities and Diversity with the aim of empowering those associations.

After all, their commitment has always been a driving force for more equal rights. Federal support for associations working around equality has increased from €700,000 in 2020 to €3.4 million in 2024, a 500% increase.

Increased support for associations working around women's rights comes in three phases:

1) The Institute grants accreditation for five years at a time which, following a call for applications, recognises the relevance of associations' work and allows them to apply for structural grants.

2) The Institute awards grants to finance major missions of association work or political work on women's rights (studies, archiving, documentation and expertise, collection, follow-up of the national action plan against gender violence) and coalitions of associations on themes such as gender equality, socio-economic independence, migration, justice, health, .... This coalition approach promotes cooperation between actors on the ground and the quality of the work carried out.

This phase has just ended. For its assessment, the Institute relied on an analysis of the applications (compliance with formal criteria, completeness of the application, relevance and overall quality of the application, linguistic, geographical and thematic balance), combined with a qualitative ranking.

Associations that are not selected but have previously received accreditation may reapply for a grant at a later date, depending on changes in the budget available for structural funding.

3) Federal funds for structural grants to associations active in women's rights within the budget were tripled, from 700,000 euros in 2021 to 1,990,000 euros in 2024.

The same general governance principles were also applied via royal decrees to the allocation of structural grants to associations working around racism and the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Previously, there was no structural support for these associations. From 2024, associations working around racism will be able to count on funding of €900,000 annually and associations working for the rights of LGBTQI+ persons on €500,000 annually.

Marie-Colline Leroy, Secretary of State for Gender Equality, Equal Opportunities and Diversity: "This new governance in the allocation of funds to associations responds to a demand from the sector itself. It is an expression of our political will to strengthen cooperation and consultation with the voluntary sector. Their historic commitment has always been the driving force behind governments' equality policies and progress. Thanks to these new resources, work on the ground can be further strengthened. This is necessary because in many areas, equality is still more of a goal than a reality, be it violence, financial independence, access to equal work, etc."