Does her name ring a bell? An essential figure of recent decades, she was committed to the cause of gender equality throughout her life.
Born in Ghent in 1926, of Russian origin, her family moved to Brussels in 1938. She got a PhD in Law from the ULB and specialised in social law.
First in Belgium, and later at the European level, Éliane became the embodiment of Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome (1957), which explicitly defends equal pay for male and female workers doing the same work.
Equal pay, the place of women in professional and societal hierarchies and in positions of responsibility... these were all battles that Éliane fought for women in professional circles to open their eyes to such inequalities. Her action led to the uprising of female workers at the Fabrique Nationale de Herstal: in 1966, 3,500 women blockaded the factory for 3 months! They got a pay raise, but they didn't reach equality...
Professional equality requires changes in the political sphere: Éliane sought to obtain a greater female presence in assemblies and ideally a parity, or "parity democracy".
She passed away in Brussels at the end of 2015. A street was recently named after her in a new urban housing development, where the communes of Laeken and Jette meet.