First person convicted under anti-sexism law

A man was fined €3,000 for using gender-based insults on a female police officer; becoming the first person in Belgium to be charged under the 2014 anti-sexism law that punishes sexist behaviour in public.

Le Soir reported Tuesday that the incident occurred in June 2016, when the man verbally attacked and threatened a female police officer after being stopped for a traffic violation.

The man was found guilty by a Brussels court for violating the police officer’s “dignity” on account of her gender and for insulting and threatening a public official, tallying a combined fine of €3,000.

Gilles Blondeau, a spokesman for the local public prosecutor’s office stated that the case was a good way to “test” the law since it had yet to be enacted.

This law was created in 2014 after a documentary shot with hidden cameras highlighted the common sexism and sexual intimidation that women deal with on the streets of Brussels.