Anderlecht, one of the 19 municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium, has become the first municipality to allow headscarves in the workplace, following the approval of a proposal.
The proposal represents a significant step towards reflecting diversity and inclusion in government institutions in the country.
The proposal, which was put forward by the PS-Vooruit-Engagés group, was significantly amended. It now favors “allowing religious symbols for employees who are in contact with the public”.
However, this change has drawn criticism from some advocates who believe it is not enough to achieve parity for all employees.
The proposal also includes a request for “assistance from the relevant services in the Brussels-Capital Region,” in order to organize the supervision of related permits in all municipalities. This request reflects the municipality’s desire for greater cooperation with regional authorities.
The amended proposal also suggests that training should be organized for public service employees to facilitate the change that will take place within the administration. This reflects a desire to achieve balance and promote mutual understanding of the proposed changes.
These changes are seen as a step towards developing the municipality’s policies and practices, with the municipality reaffirming its commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in its administration.