Belgium is definitely not the most romantic country. However, it is one of the most interesting places in Europe and has a lot to offer passionate tourists. Belgium doesn’t have its unique language but recognizes three official ones: Dutch, German, and French. In addition to the amazingly tasty chocolate and waffles, Belgium is famous for its beautiful ladies. Unemotional and somewhat reserved, Belgium brides often remind the Snow Queens – attractive and tempting but totally untouchable. Such behavior can easily put the majority of guys off. But try not to give up on your potential Belgium wife, as after you conquer her heart, she will open up and show you what true love is.
5 Facts About Women’s Rights in Belgium
Despite the fact that Belgium women have gained more rights and enough freedom over the years, there are still some perspectives for the improvement. Being a modern and emancipated country, Belgium hasn’t always treated men and women equally. Let’s take a look at the 5 facts about Belgium women rights to get more information on the background and formation of the feminist principles within the country:
- Belgium was the last but one European country that has acknowledged women’s right to vote. Such a lag in adopting this law can be explained by the desire of the contemporary activists, Isala Van Diest and Marie Popelin, to focus mainly on education and equal legal status for the ladies. The introduction of suffrage rights for Belgium women was postponed due to the illusion that the ladies would vote too conservatively taking into account their religious beliefs. However, this theory failed right after the first voting of the Belgium ladies took place.
- Despite the fact that some voting rights were granted to Belgium women already in 1919, until 1948, these so-called freedoms existed with a lot of limits and restrictions. In 1919, only some ladies could take advantage of their right to vote. The “honors list” included the mothers and widows of the World War I militaries, as well as of those who were killed or imprisoned by the enemies. In 1920, almost all the Belgium ladies, except for the women of ill fame, could vote in the municipal elections. In 1948, Belgium women received a right to participate in the parliamentary elections on equal terms with men. In 1949, this right was implemented for the first time.
- The number of Belgium women in the national government keeps increasing. In 1994, Belgian authorities introduced the Quota Act that implied a 50/50 quota for all the elections, municipal or national. This means that the candidates who occupy the top positions in each election list cannot be of the same gender. Those lists that do not meet the Quota Act requirements are considered null and void. Such an approach allowed women to occupy almost 50% of the seats in the Belgian parliament. By the way, Sophie Wilmè, the serving prime minister of Belgium, is the first lady who managed to take such a high post ever in the history of Belgium. The number of Belgian ladies in politics is constantly rising which contributes immensely to the expansion of women’s rights within the country.
- According to the data of the Global Gender Gap Report, Belgium now occupies the 27th position out of 153 in the list that elucidates the success of the countries in their intention to reduce the gender gap in the 4 most popular professional spheres: Economics, Education, Policy, and Health Care. However, the discrepancy in the salary earnings between male and female employees, as well as in the occupation of the positions in the board members of the Belgian companies, still exists.
- Adopted in 1995 by the United Nations, the Beijing Declaration implies a set of rules aimed at eliminating inequality in the right and freedoms of men and women. In 2015, in the partnership with the UN Women, Belgium presented a new and accelerated approach to the implementation of norms and doctrines of the given Declaration. The main points of the given approach cover:
- increase of the investments in the equality of genders;
- elaboration of new techniques and strategies to fight gender inequality;
- enhancement of women’s engagement in all social spheres and fostering their leadership, promotion of gender equality;
- introduction of new laws on gender equality;
- introduction of the amendments to the existing legislation to ensure gender equality.
How to meet people in Belgium
Although being reserved individualists, Belgians appreciate close relations and can become good loyal friends. If you are packing your bags to Belgium and don’t want to stay alone in this beautiful, however, strange land, try to make friends with Belgians. Finding them is not so difficult as one might think.
Ask your friends whether they have someone living in Belgium. It will be much easier to break the ice with strangers once you already have a mutual friend.
Don’t ignore learning the local language. Of course, in the majority of cases, English will be enough. However, you will feel more confident in Brussels speaking Dutch or French. A good idea will be to visit some language classes upon arrival in Belgium. This will help you find new friends and integrate into the local community faster.
Use social networks. This is a universal method to find friends all over the world, not only in Belgium. Join the communities that are of some interest to you to find like-minded fellows.
Join the workshops or some club. This will have an even better effect than social networks, as you will meet people in person and make friends faster.
Don’t forget to smile. Although somewhat closed and reserved, Belgians will definitely get attracted by your personality and friendly attitude. You may feel scared or confused but try to relax. It requires some effort in case you are an introvert. However, new Belgian friends are definitely worth trying to get acquainted with!
Etiquette with Belgium women
Dating norms in Belgium do not differ much from ones followed all over Europe. As in any country, there are some key points that should be obeyed in case you don’t want to feel jumpy on your first date with one of Belgium girls.
Making the first move
Belgium women are not the type of ladies who will jump off the deep end when it comes to dating or love things. Sometimes they need too much time to explore your personality and understand your intentions. They may meet you several times in the companies of your mutual friends before going out with you tête-à-tête. Don’t be in a rush when expressing your interest in Belgium lady. Give her time to get a good look at you.
A typical dating scenario in Belgium
When it comes to the scenarios of your dates with Belgium brides, you do not need to invent the wheel. Everything is typical – cinema, theaters, coffee houses, and restaurants. You may take a little walk through the city or visit numerous museums if you are in Brussels. Of course, you are free to express your creativity and arrange some romantic dinner on some city viewing point to enjoy the urban landscape. However, Belgium women are a bit conservative and would prefer traditional dating over some extraordinary pastime.
Behavior with Belgium women
Every nation including Belgians has its stereotypes as to the behavior on the first date. These are the basic rules that should be followed if you do not want to plunge into an unpleasant situation and ruin your date with Belgium women.
You may not write your Belgium lady a song or spoil her with bunches of roses, but you should never make her wait for you. Punctuality is one of the most appreciated traits in Belgium. Being punctual serves as your demonstration of respect for the time and life of a person. In order to make one of the Belgium brides fall for you, it is better to come 15 minutes before the agreed time.
When dating one of Belgium women, make sure your appearance is impeccable from head to toe. Forget about your frayed jeans and a loose T-shirt. Wearing them won’t help you attract any Belgium lady. Plan your look beforehand, take care of your hairstyle and nails, and make sure you have a good perfume for such a special occasion.
Belgium women have their life planned for several years ahead. Not to mention short term plans and thoroughly scheduled days. This means that you need to take some effort to pierce in her agenda. Sudden dates are totally not a good idea, as well as the last-minute cancellation of the meeting. Belgium brides value their personal borders and comfort zone a lot, so they won’t be impressed with your impromptu plans as to the date.
Belgians are well-mannered and often can’t put up with ill-mannered behavior or rudeness. Despite the feminist principles and emancipation that have successfully integrated into the European community in the 21st century, Belgian gentlemen rise when a woman enters the room and never sit at the public transport until all the ladies are seated. On your first date, try not to talk with your mouth full, put your hands in your pockets, or yawn too obviously. Such frivolous behavior won’t do you any good. Knowing and using the basic principles of etiquette will definitely impress all the Belgium women and you will get a few extra scores to your reputation.
Flirting and body language
Formal and reserved, Belgium brides can hardly be considered passionate in terms of expressing their feelings and emotions. Handshake is the only proper greeting you can use while meeting a Belgian man or woman. When Belgium women are close acquaintances of yours, you can give them a kiss on the cheek. Such a lack of physical contact doesn’t mean a Belgian lady doesn’t like you. It is just a homage to the local traditions and social norms.
No time for games
As has already been mentioned, Belgium women and men are not the ones who will play games with you. They don’t like intrigues, talking in circles, or allusions. You can hardly have a one-night stand with a Belgian lady as the majority of Belgium girls prefer honest and clear relations without any hidden agenda. At first, such an approach may seem boring and not very romantic; however, it is the only right option in case you long to build a mature and trustful relationship.
You should be very careful while choosing the topic for small talks with Belgium women. Talking about personal issues, religion, politics, and money is always treated as a bad taste and a lack of politeness. Try to avoid sensitive topics and choose something neutral. Food, for example: Belgium has fantastic cuisine. Why not discuss it with one of the pretty Belgium brides?
Splitting the check
Belgium women and men have equal rights, so you can offer to split a check on your first date and your offer will be met positively. Belgium brides value their freedom and earn enough to feel empowered and economically independent. However, if you want to present yourself as a real gentleman, you can delicately ask her whether she would feel okay if you paid the whole amount.
Acts of chivalry
In spite of being a progressive nation, Belgium women still feel excited about chivalry acts and cute presents. Treat your Belgium girlfriend as a little girl who needs your attention and help. However, don’t make even the tiniest attempt to take her freedom away. Pamper her with unexpected presents, chocolate, and flowers. But before choosing a bunch of flowers for your beloved one, check on the symbol every flower conveys. For example, chrysanthemums in Belgium symbolize death so you should avoid giving them to your girlfriend.
Moving into a relationship with Belgium women
There are no established norms in Belgium on when you can name a lady your official girlfriend or invite her to a family dinner. As has already been mentioned, Belgian people treat any kind of relationship seriously and can move forward as a couple pretty soon after several weeks of dating. As a rule, they state clearly the type of their relations and are not afraid of being judged.
Meeting the family
Family means a lot for any Belgium woman. So, in case you have been invited to the family dinner, be sure your sweetheart is ready to admit you to her circle of trust. Don’t expect anything pompous – most likely, it will be an informal dinner in a warm atmosphere with small talks. Don’t forget to take some sweets or a bottle of good wine with you to express your respect to her relatives.
Being very progressive and emancipated, Belgium women do not consider marriage to be their life goal. They want to find the right person to tie the knot and share their life with. Thus, the average age when Belgium brides get married is 32 – 37. In such a way, the marriage rate within the country is pretty stable and the statistics of divorces are rather low. Homosexual marriages in Belgium were legalized in 2003. As you can see, Belgium treats all kinds of love properly. So, you will have no problems marrying one of the beautiful Belgium women.