Belgian man becomes first person convicted of sexism under new law

A Belgian police officer at a memorial service.
A Belgian police officer at a memorial service. Photo credit: Reuters

A Belgian man has been convicted and slapped with a hefty fine for sexism - the first such case in the country's history.

He was sentenced for sexist remarks he made to a police officer in a public space, in addition to threatening an officer.

The man has been fined NZ$5000 by the Brussels Criminal Court according to local media site Le Soir.

While he was sentenced in November, the case has only recently been reported by local media according to the New York Times and it is now attracting global coverage.

"Shut your mouth, I don't talk to women, being a police officer is not a job for women," the man reportedly told a policewoman in 2016.

The court found his behaviour was a violation of the dignity of the woman on the basis on sex.

If he does not pay his fines he will face up to one month in prison, Le Soir reports.

Belgium passed a law criminalising sexism in a public place in 2014, through an amendment to an existing discrimination law.

Those who violate the law face up to NZ$17,000 in fines and can face up to one year in prison.