A documentary film about men harassing women on the streets of Brussels has provoked a heated debate in the country, with some calling an aspiring female director racist.
Final year film student Sofie Peeters has created ‘Women in the Streets’ to highlight the problem of street harassment millions of women across the world face.
Pretty Peeters filmed men with a hidden camera while walking around the Belgian capital.
She was constantly whistled and shouted at, with “B” words and phrases like “I'll take you to hotel” the most commonly heard.
Peeters' first-hand harassment account, Women in the Streets, screened at a local movie house, has caused a stir in the society.
Many noticed, the director chose to film her sequences in areas mostly populated by African migrants, and accused Peeters of being racist.
“It was one of my biggest fears. How to tackle this subject without making the film racist? But this is the reality: when you're walking around Brussels, in 9 cases out of 10 these insults come from a foreigner. But these people are characteristic of the entire Magrib community,” Peeters told Flemish TV Channel, VRT.
A new law is due to come to force this fall in Belgium which will fight street harassment. Victims of leering, honking or whistling and sexual harassment, will have to report a violation so the police can investigate.