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The use of racial antidiscrimination laws in Belgium: a gender perspective


The research aims to evaluate the effectiveness of Belgian racial antidiscrimination laws by focusing on the target group in a gender perspective. The main hypothesis is that men and women make different uses of the law. This is because they develop different representations of the legal system and experience different types of discrimination in their interaction with the society in which they live and work.

This project seeks to innovate compared to the state of the art by: focusing on the factor of gender in shaping perceptions and choices among ethnic minority groups, and their reaction and use of anti-discrimination legislation when faced with racial discrimination; extending the 'legal consciousness studies' to anti-discrimination policy in its application to migrants and non-nationals.

The research will be based on a study of formal complaints, observation of the actors (lawyers and victims), semi-directive interviews of foreign nationals and members of ethnic minorities and written interviews based on keywords used in legal and daily contexts.

The research aims to support the formulation and the implementation of EU Equality and non-discrimination policy by: Improving our understanding of the phenomenon of gender and racial discrimination; developing practical tools for administrations, NGOs and specialised bodies ( e.g. a guide to good practice) for evaluation and exchange of good practice, particularly in relation to gender; establishing the basis for comparative research with other m ember states.

A fellowship with the Gender and Migration Group at ULB, Brussels will enable the researcher to deepen her expertise by offering a multidisciplinary environment in the field of gender and migration (psychology, economics, history, sociology, law) and the possibility to continue her career after the fellowship as a specialist in comparative European studies in gender and racial discrimination.

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