Belgium... a female view


8 March is International Women's Day, and Focus on Belgium has decided to honour several Belgian women who made the news in 2020.

And credit where credit's due. Let's start with Sophie Wilmès, our former Prime Minister and current Minister of Foreign Affairs. The American magazine Forbes listed her among the 100 most influential women of the past year, alongside Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde and many other influential women.

In the world of science, one name we will remember is Christine Van Broeckhoven of the VIB-UAntwerp, who has now also received the Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award. She has significantly advanced research into Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

If we go back a little further in time, Isala Van Diest caught our attention.  The first female doctor in Belgium in 1879, she obtained her medical degree in Bern, also becoming the first Belgian woman to go to university.

Women have also stood out in terms of culture; the singer Angèle won the prize for best concert at the "Victoires de la Musique" in 2020. On the literary front, Lize Spit, whose first novel 'Het Smelt (The Melting)' set the literary world alight, published her second novel, 'Ik ben er niet', which will soon be translated into other languages.

And let's not forget sport - a healthy mind in a healthy body. Our Red Flames complete our picture of Belgian women. They won their ticket to the Euro 2022, proof that Belgian football is also a women's game.

If you want to discover other great Belgian women (and men), go to the Do you know these Belgians? section.